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   2-2 (2-3 agg)  

 03′ Davronov (P)
 24′ Bheke
                     59′ Barkov 
 65′ Chhetri (P)                           


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Good night. The lads, certainly, made us proud! Chhetri’s emotional last message showed how he feels for the game and representing India on the continental stage.  

FULL TIME ANALYSIS: Istiklol certainly grew into the game, but Bengaluru FC continued the good work they started in the first half. The game was wonderfully contested, and that one goal at home proved to be decisive for the Tajik side. Bengaluru FC, yet again, proved they’re good enough for the stage. 

90+5′ FINAL WHISTLE and BENGALURU ARE OUT! SUNIL CHHETRI IS FRUSTATED, and this will be remembered as a game of controversial decisions.

90+4′ Juanan is the Bengaluru striker now, and balls are looking at him as Istiklol continue to waste time and look for that one final whistle.

90+3′ Chhetri looks for Juanan with a through in the box, but the goalkeeper collects it coming forward. Incredibly open game, this has been. Beautifully competitive. 

90+3′ Gurpreet spins one again to Paartalu and they go again to find one, or two! 

90+2′ Haokip runs with a good ball into space, and tries a weak shot, is easily collected. Bengaluru are now just playing with two defenders. Chhetri controls a long ball in the box but is offside, and is angry at the decision. Is yellow-carded.

90′ GuThrow, Rahul, flick, is shot over from Dimas. They will keep going for the elusive two! Can they do a Manchester United historic double here at Bengaluru? What are the odds? 1000/1?

89′ Haokip sends one in from the right, but is headed out for a throw in for the hosts. They create again! Juanan tries one from a Chhetri’s return. 

86′ Bassiev tries to curl a cross into the box, but Gurpreet collects easily. Istiklol are now attacking the vacant spaces. 

85′ Curls it just over! That was so close! Quality attempt from the captain. 

84′ All or nothing for the Asian dream and Chhetri will take a free kick close to the box. Close to 25 yards, and the pressure is immense. 

83′ Delgado defends one brilliantly. Udanta goes on a run on the left. Does a Berbatov turn, but is a little heavy and is cheated out of possession. 

83′ Chhetri to Haokip, after an advantage, is not played. Chhetri is furious at the ref. Bengaluru build again as Delgado is pulled down. 

82′ Not a great ball from the number 9. Is easily cleared for a throw-in. Rahul takes in, Headed in, half chance, another throw in. Keeper gets the ball on the second grab. Playing with fire on the counter, Bengaluru. 

81′ Dimas standing over the ball. Chhetri, Juanan, Haokip all interested. Paartalu heads it, but is defended for a corner. 

80′ Udanta is brought down on the left wing, and Dzhalilov isn’t booked? Chhetri feels they deserved to be 10-v-10! 

79′ Can the Steelmen do it in the next 11, playing 11 vs 10? Difficult, very difficult. Another player for Istiklol goes down. 

78′ Bengaluru need to be safe in defence as conceding another one will mean doomsday. Dzhalilov had a chance to make it 3-2, but the shot is wide. 

77′ Toni and Alwyn are playing in the middle of the pitch, as Bengaluru continue to try and score another one. Udanta with another run down the left plays it to Haokip. 

76′ Udanta has shifted to the left wing. Rahul taking a throw from the left, coming down from the right wing. Foul conceded, and Istiklol have the possession. Paartalu the obstructer. 

75′ Alwyn’s box-to-box presence will be key to adding the needed energy in the midfield as Chhetri, Udanta, Haokip, Dimas and Toni Dovale try to make things happen up top. 

74′ Roca is throwing everything he has. Good managerial decisions, ensuring there’s nothing left on hope. Haokip looks to be the trump card as he comes on down the central lane. 

73′ Daniel makes way for Alwyn George and Nishu Kumar makes ways for Boithang Haokip. 

72′ Istiklol currently playing with 10 men as they await a substitute player to come in. Bheke stops an attack with a crunching tackle.

71′ A visiting player is down, and it looks like a cramp. Delgado, meanwhile, lost some good possession in the centre, trying to beat an opponent. The player is being carried off with an injury. Bheke and Udanta look animated.

70′ Daniel tries to push one in after a cross from Nishu, but is over. Istiklol restart the game. 

69′ The game is on, and Bengaluru look to have got a zip in their rhythm. Paartalu is playing his new role as a centre-back well. 

65′ CHHETRI drives it low to the right, and the game is on! What a competition this is turning out to be! Everything that was expected! 


64′ Cross from the right, headed by Daniel, but is shot across the face of the goal by Chhetri. Massive moment, should’ve done better. 

63′ Another corner to Istiklol Curled in, whistled pasted the post from outside the box by Davronov. 

63′ Chhetri was through and it was saved, but the No. 11 was offside. Centrally, the captain is very, very dangerous. Needs to continue operating there. 

62′ Have the crowd given up? Bheke is leaving too much space behind him. Out of position issues or is the No. 2 trying to attack too much? He has played a lot of football at right-back, Bheke. 

60′ Bengaluru, now, need to hit it with everything they have. They should be going in numbers, both in attack and the defence. 

59′ BARKOV MAKES IT MORE DIFFICULT, CONVERTING FROM A GOOD CUT IN. Gurpreet was nowhere near to stop in. 2-1 and Bengaluru now need 3. Juanan is booked for trying to call it offside. 

58′ Tame effort from Davronov from the centre. Didn’t have the power to beat Gurpreet, if it would’ve been on goal. GSS with the restart. 

57′ Free kick to Istiklol as Rahul brings down the captain. Far away to the left, the visitors play it out with passes. Wing a throw-in on the left. 

56′ Nishu and Chhetri try to combine as Dzhalilov handles one for a yellow. The free kick is collected well by the goalkeeper, who hits Chhetri on the head. 

55′ LENNY IS OFF FOR TONI DOVALE! Throwing your cards early is a good thing. Gives Dovale the time to make things happen. 

54′ Curled in on the first post, but Gurpreet punches it out. Chhetri controls the clearance and helps it into the path of Delgado with a heel touch.

53′ MISSION IMPOSSIBLE, as the commentator says, is ON! CAN THEY DO IT? Istiklol attack again, and Juanan blocks the attempt for a corner. 

52′ Daniel tries to find Delgado with a precise through-ball, but a sublime tackle stops the attempt. 

51′ Bengaluru need at least two more to win, as the away goal rule stands. Istiklol have scored one here, but Bengaluru couldn’t hit the net at Dushanbe. They need the inspiration of Chhetri, the speed of Udanta and the presence of Delgado. 

50′ Bengaluru, after the restart, have not looked bereft of ideas or lacking the man! CHANCE FOR THE VISITORS, SUPERB POSITIONING BY GURPREET. Collects it easily. 

49′ Udanta tries to find Nishu with a sweet through ball, but is blocked. The hosts are not allowing the tempo and the momentum to go low. 


47′ Bengaluru need to score next, to ensure they have the right momentum. Conceding one now can be disastrous for the Steelmen.

46′ The game resumes and Bengaluru start the proceedings from right to left. Daniel start the roll. 

If the hosts do not cross the hurdle, a lot of fingers will be pointed at Harmanjot Singh Khabra, and to be fair, the right wing-back should not have committed the challenges. 

This will be a game of calmness and composure in the second half as the hosts look to score two to avoid the penalty shoot out. They’ve been there, done that against Johor D’Tazim last year in the semi-finals. 


Possession: 63.2 – 36.8

Shot Accuracy: 62.5% – 40%

Shots: 8 – 5 

On Target: 5 – 2 


The game has been a sight to behold so far, as Bengaluru FC keep pressurizing the visitors to make defensive errors. The aggregate, as it stands, is 2-1, and the hosts will have to climb a mountain with Harmanjot Singh Khabra red carded already. Udanta and Chhetri have been livewires down their respective wings, and have down well to play the ball higher up the pitch. 

45+2′ The speed has slowed, certainly and Bengaluru’s deficit of a number is showing as they want to walk back the tunnel with te score 1-1. 

45+1′ Even if they win this game, they will be without their first choice right back in the finals. Collin in again? 

45′ The Viking clap is there and is cheering the hosts loud! 2 minutes of added time. 

44′ Can they pull it off with a man less? Crazy scenes at the Kanteerava. Imagine the thoughts in Roca’s head as Bengaluru continue to build from the back. 

43′ Interesting free kick range. Lays it off, but is a waste as the eventual cross is cleared well by Lenny. 


41′ Shot from distance from Istiklol, finds the audiences. Poor foul on Chhetri and Jahongir is booked. The No. 11 looks in pain. 

39′ Bengaluru create again from Chhetri as he finds Chhetri, who plays a first time volleyed pass to Nishu. Khabra, eventually, crosses one in, but Delgado heads it just wide. Chhetri, too, was interested. 

39′ Chhetri tries to find Delgado again with a through-ball but is a little heavy again. The intensity is probably affecting the man’s touch. 

37′ Are they time-wasting it already? The ref calls out a visiting player and tells him not to waste time. Too defensive, too early. 

36′ Rahul concede a deep throw-in on the left and Fathuloev takes it. The ball is defended well, and tries to find Udanta, but is a little heavy. 

35′ Jahongir tries to create one from the left but is defended well by Khabra. Dimas finds Udanta with a brilliant long ball, but the youngster’s second touch make him give up possession under pressure. 

34′ ONLY IF! Delgado tries a sweet lob from outside the box, but is handled well by the GK. Daniel with the initial pressure for the hosts. 

33′ Khabra needs to be careful, having earned a yellow. A number less can be a major distraction for the dominating side. 

32′ Nishu with a long-distance attempt, but hits it well over. Not a bad try looking at the kind of space he was discounted in. 

31′ Bengaluru regain possession and have been the better side, easily. Dominating possession and creating chances at will, they’ve been brilliantly spearheaded by their talisman. Ohhh, that swagger when he’s fighting. 

30′ Goalkick to Istiklol, but Bengaluru regain possession and continue to build from the back. Supreme confidence from the ROCA-side. CHHETRI hits the bar with a half chance from inside the box. 

29′ DANIEL RUNS ONTO A LOOSE BALL IN THE BOX, but doesn’t try a volley! Should’ve. The score remains 1-1. 

28′ Bengaluru are giving a warning to all ISL clubs with performances like this. Beware, you know we’re coming, as if they’re saying. Khabra tries a cross, but is defended. 

27′ Daniel tries to make another run down the left, but is defended well and out for a visiting throw in. Bengaluru pressing high and are looking desperate for the second one. 

26′ Long free kick, close to the Bengaluru box, but is cleared. Chhetri runs and makes it for Delgado, but is sent out for an Istiklol throw in. What a game this has been! Supreme energy, intent and both teams look commited to the cause! 

25′ Khabra is booked for a bad tackle. 


24′ Daniel tries a low strike, but is out for a corner.

23′ Another chance for Daniel, but is defended well. Bengaluru coming closer and closer. The crowd have been unstoppable. 

22′ The Istiklol No. 21 is receiving a little treatment. Bengaluru rebuild after the resumption. 

21′ Short one, Udanta crosses in after receiving the pass, but Bheke fouls Dzhalilov. Free kick to the visitors. The No. 2 went for the header. 

20′ Bengaluru are playing with practically just three at the back. Nishu and Khabra are acting as wingers. Another corner as Khabra and Udanta link up on the right wing. 

18′ Free kick and then corner for Bengaluru, both by the artistry of their talisman. Chhetri is taking the responsibility here, like he does day in day out. It’s a delight watching him at the top of his fighting game. 

17′ Bengaluru are playing it high, and are pressing the visitors well. Building from the wings, the hosts are leaving a lot of space centrally. 

16′ Goalkick as Chhetri is brought down by Dzhlilov. Was debatable. No penalty as the stadium breaks into a roar. 

15′ Bengaluru just need to calm a little down, and understand that they’ve the ability to get back into the game. It’s their fortress and Udanta’s run proves exactly that. Throw in to Bengaluru as the ball is cleared. 

14′ Cross from the left, over the second post and Mawutor heads it over the post. Gurpreet had some positioning to do. 

13′ Khabra tries to control one on the run on the right wing, but is just a little over weighted for him. Out for a Istiklol throw in. 

12′ Something special is going on here, as Chhetri looks really determined to make it big. The No. 11 is making dangerous runs both on and off the ball, and the hosts are playing off him. Good signs. 

11′ Could’ve been 2 for Istiklol, but a bad miss from Jahongir. Needed to keep it on target from a cut in down the right. 

10′ SUNIL CHHETRI AT IT AGAIN! WAS SO, SO GOOD, that move! Turned, cut out and then in, and send a low shot. Straight to the goalkeeper though. 

09′ Khabra’s cross comes in from the right, and Chhetri tries to play a cheeky through ball to Dimas. Just a little heavy for Delgado. 

08′ Bengaluru FC try to build from the back, but Udanta is brought down as he tries to help the team in possession. 

07′ Cross comes in from the right for the visitors and Fathuloev curls one to the second post. Sandhu with a diving double-handed save. 

06′ this is the last thing the hosts wanted. They’ve been there, though, and know what it takes to win the game. CHHETRI SHOOTS ONE FROM THE LEFT AFTER CUTTING IN, but is blocked! High tempo, high action! 

04′ DAVRONOV MAKES IT 2-0 IN THE OPENING MOMENTS! GURPREET ALMOST SAVED IT, but the power pushes it in. Was close. Bengaluru now have a mountain to climb. 


02′ Bheke looks one of the most improved players, after shifting bases to the JSW club from East Bengal. 

01′ Udanta and Daniel try to combine but the attempt is cleared for a Khabra throw in. Bengaluru are being heavily backed at home, having lost none at their fortress. 

01′ Istiklol kick off proceedings from the right to left. Slender lead, but can they go all the way? 

18:58 PM: The return of two key men for the visitors can also be a huge factor. 

18:57 PM: The teams have walked out and are doing their customary hand shakes. Bengaluru FC look to be playing a 4-2-3-1, with Lenny and Erik being the screener over Juanan and Bheke. 

18:55 PM: Five more minutes and Sunil Chhetri will walk his side out at the roaring Sree Kanteerava Stadium followed by the mercurial Gurpreet Singh Sandhu. 

18:54 PM: Star Sports is not broadcasting the game, and the only place to watch it is the AFC Cup Facebook page. You can follow the live updates here. 

18:52 PM: Today’s starter, Daniel Lalhlimpuia, has been through a lot. The lad will not play the first part of the upcoming season, having been registered only for the AFC Cup. Will he make a mark with a goal?

18:50 PM: With 10 minutes to go, the game looks to be a feisty affair. The public are zooming in at the Sree Kanteerava and the Steelmen will surely need some steel to defeat the Tajik heavyweights. 

If Bengaluru FC make it to the finals, they’ll be the first Indian club to reach two AFC Cup finals in a row. Also, the winners of this match (on aggregate) will host the AFC Cup final. Sunil Chhetri, Daniel and Udanta Singh will lead the line and expect West Block Blues to cheer them over the finishing line. 

Here’s the detailed preview of the game as we go LIVE in 20 minutes: Nerves of steel needed as Bengaluru FC look to reach consecutive AFC Cup finals 

Starting XI: 

Bengaluru FC: Gurpreet (GK), Bheke, Juanan, Khabra, Nishu, Erik Paartalu, Lenny, Udanta, Chhetri, Dimas Delgado, Daniel

Istiklol FC: Stosic (GK), Asrorov, Mawutor, Davronov, Jahongir, Barkov, Fathuloev, Nazarov, Dzhalilov, Stetsenko, Dzhalilov

18:30 Hello and welcome to the Live commentary of the most awaited game. It’s the hosts, Bengaluru FC taking on Istiklol FC in the second leg of the Inter-zonal finals of the AFC Cup 2017. This is your host Punit Tripathi coming to you LIVE with updates and analysis of the game.