SK Amaze: Sunil Chhetri's second goal for Bengaluru FC that helped create Indian football history
Yesterday was a proud day for Indian football. I-League club Bengaluru FC became the first ever Indian side to reach the finals of the AFC cup thanks to a Chhetri inspired performance. The JSW owned club won the game against Malaysian side Johor Darul Ta'zim F.C. 2-1 on the night and 4-2 on aggregate.
It was the away side who opened the scoring in the early stages of the game but Chhetri equalized before half time. But it was his second goal that was the best of the bunch on the day.
The Indian captain made some room for himself, and then curled a brilliant shot that landed in the top left corner of the net. The keeper stretched but had absolutely no chance of reaching it.
Centre back Juanan rounded up the win with a header to make it 3-1. It was a night to be remembered and a night where Chhetri reminded everyone how good he is. He might play for a Barcelona or a Real Madrid but in the eyes of the Indian fans he a world class player.
Here are both of Chhetri’s goals:
While Chhetri deserves all the praise coming his way, nothing should be taken away from the performance of Eugenson Lyngdoh. His rise to prominence has been phenomenal, to say the least.
The midfielder was an unknown quantity for a major part of his early career but in the last two and a half years he has taken his game to another level. He was responsible for creating a majority of the chances for Bangalore and had a crucial part to play in all the three goals, registering two assists.
Bengaluru will now face Al-quwa Al-jawiya, an Iraqi club, in the final of the AFC Cup. If BFC manage to win that game, not only will they create a huge ripple across Asia, but they will also have a shot at qualifying for the AFC Champions League. The AFC Cup is the Asian equivalent of the Europa league.
Chhetri spoke to Sportskeeda after the game and expressed his delight at the win. “To be honest, am just happy right now. I can’t sum it up, as to what it means to Indian football, I am really really happy. There was a lot of talk going into the game, no Indian player had reached the finals before. When Mr. Gaffer was giving the speech today, there was no talk about that, we were just thinking about winning the match.”
India is truly lucky to have a player of his calibre. Now all that Indian fans can do is hope Bengaluru achieve the dream of winning the AFC Cup.