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Bengaluru FC advance to the finals of the Indian Super League after a fine second-half display at the Sree Kanteerava Stadium. The Blues desperately in need of a goal were helped by their talismanic forward Miku first, then it was a lightning run of Udanta, and finally, the skipper put the game to bed for them.
NorthEast meanwhile would be having their head held high with proud after showing the valour to fight the mighty giants of Indian football in their own fortress for almost throughout the game and almost eliminating them from the competition. And all of these with the limited resources and fitness issues.
We sign off now, but stay tuned with us for more news from the Indian Super League.
FT: Bengaluru FC 3-0 NorthEast United FC
SUBSTITUTION: Sunil Chhetri makes way for Boithang Haokip. Some nice rest for the skipper before the all-important final in Mumbai.
92′ AND NOW IT IS CHHETRI! Another fine counter from Bengaluru sees Miku playing a fine pass to the Indian captain who has no one to fight against. The Bengaluru captain beats the keeper to make it 3-0, and send the NorthEast staff packing the bags.
90′ Six minutes have been added.
88′ The stadium has finally erupted and Dimas Delgado, who has been in question for his comments and behaviour against NorthEast players in the previous leg, has come back to haunt the Highlanders.
86′ DIMAS DELGADO PUTS THE FINAL NAIL IN NORTHEAST’S COFFIN! Dimas finishes what is a sucker-punch from Udanta to the Highlanders. Highlanders play a corner which is cleared to meet Udanta. The Flash takes a run with only a defender to beat, he chips it over him and the goalkeeper. The ball is saved the first time, but the return ball lands towards Dimas who puts it in to end any hopes of a Highlanders comeback.
84′ Bengaluru pushing for one more, just to make sure that no surprises from Eelco’s side surprise them. NorthEast try to see more of the ball.
SUBSTITUTION: Albert Serran is asked to bring more defensive steeliness to the Bengaluru side, with him replacing Xisco.
SUBSTITUTION: Nikhil Kadam comes on for Reagan Singh. Meanwhile, Dimas Delgado is booked for a rash challenge.
79′ IT SHOULD HAVE BEEN A PENALTY! Udanta is again pulled down in the box after he skips past Keegan Periera with a magical trickery down the right, but the referee isn’t interested in it.
78′ NorthEast finally go for an attack, trying to build up something from the midfield. Bengaluru maintain a compact line, not allowing any penetration.
76′ Bengaluru breathe heavily, NorthEast hurt and put down. We have to feel sorry for the John Abraham co-owned franchise. They have done wonders with the limited resources they had, and deserve to play in the final.
74′ UDANTTAAAA AGAIN!! The Indian international suddenly has come to life. Miku after scoring from Udanta’s cross tries to return the favour back, putting in a magical pass on the right for Udanta. The winger has no one to challenge him but his shot is saved well by the on surging Pawan Kumar.
72′ MIKKUUUU SCORESSS!! The Venezuelan forward has finally scored for the Blues! Xisco’s audacious touch lets Udanta have the space to cross the ball and Miku is there in the box, this time finally putting the ball in the back of the net.
SUBSTITUTION: That was the last involvement of Juanan for the night as Cuadrat looks for a more offensive option on the field, with Luisima replacing him. NorthEast bring on Shouvik Ghosh with Fanai struggling to continue.
67′ WHAT A MISS!! Juanan misses from point blank range for the Bengaluru. The home team wins a corner kick and NorthEast have to defend it with ten men given the fact that Fanai is out after falling down. The resultant corner is pulled in well and allows Juanan to make it 1-0 in favour of Bengaluru, but the Spanish defender fails and falls.
66′ It’s a one-way traffic at the moment with NorthEast happy to allow Bengaluru have the ball and try their luck.
63′ ITS THE FIRST BOOKING OF THE NIGHT! Bheke, who is playing in the midfield tonight, is booked for a not-so-poor challenge on the Triadis. It was wrong on the part of Triadis to go down so easily.
SUBSTITUTION: Panagiotis Triadis joins in to replace the injured Gallego.
60′ Bengaluru attack with NorthEast playing with nine outfield players. The former East Bengal coach Schattorie is furious of his team to take so long to clear the ball and get the team back to full strength.
58′ The tackle did not just leave Gallego with an issue, but also Miku with one. But the Bengaluru forward looks fine to continue and joins the team back.
56′ That challenge was a brave one, but has put the end to the season of Gallego as he is down hurt. He is taken out of the field on the stretcher and Eelco Schattorie now has a decision to make.
54′ A poorly taken free-kick sees NorthEast lose the ball to Miku and the Venezuelan surges for a counter. Miku tries to cut in from left, but Grgic stands tall, allowing his other defenders the time to track back. Gallego is the one to put the final tackle to get the ball.
53′ Dimas is at his theatrics again! The Blues midfielder pulls the NorthEast forward Gallego down, referee gives a freekick.
51′ THAT WAS A SCREAMER! Nishu Kumar shoots a bazooka from a ball cleared out of the NorthEast defence during the corner-kick. And the shot looked deemed to go in, but it was again the heroics of Pawan Kumar that has kept the game still goalless.
50′ Keegan almost did a SMALLING! The NorthEast fullback fails to clear a simple aerial ball, inviting pressure from Dimas and eventually giving the Blues a corner-kick.
48′ NorthEast look to keep the ball under their feet as much as they can. The ball is rolled over between the NorthEast midfielders, before a long ball catches one of them in an off-side position.
46′ We’re back with NorthEast kicking-off the game to play again. Will the Highlanders hold on to their slender lead? We must find out in the coming 45 minutes.
Half Time Analysis: Bengaluru FC have come close, not once, not twice, but thrice! And it is their star forward Miku who has been served with all of those chances, but the former La Liga star has somehow managed to help Pawan keep his cleansheet. Nishu looks dangerous for the home side going forward and has kept his left-flank noisy despite the captain Chhetri not firing from all the cylinders.
Meanwhile, for NorthEast United FC, it has been the first half with almost everything going as they would have planned. Gallego and Mascia keep asking questions to the Bengaluru FC defence in the limited opportunities they have had – all of them through blitzkreig counter-attacks!
HT: Bengaluru FC 0-0 NorthEast United FC
45′ Bengaluru has the need for goals, but Gurpreet has been called to action more than Pawan. The Highlanders have the Venezuelan forward Miku to thank for the poor finishing, something which has still kept the Highlanders in the game. Two minutes added to the first half.
43′ MASCCIIIAAAA!!! Mascia goes close after his run invites no pressure from the Bengaluru line, allowing him a lot of space to take a shot from outside the box and test his luck. Gurpreet is on-point, and he should have been given the positioning of his.
41′ AND ANOTHER!! Now it is Miku who’s looking to get a penalty out of a trivial challenge. Funny how it comes just the day after Carles Cuadrat claimed how disciplined and a non-believer of such theatrics his side is.
40′ IT’S A PENALTY? NO IT ISN’T! Nishu Kumar’s run is put to an end by Redeem Tlang and the referee feels it is just a goal-kick for NorthEast. Nishu’s not happy with the decision.
38′ Gallego isn’t happy with the Indian international captain Sunil Chhetri as he closes down the NorthEast forward so much that the no 9 stumbles and falls on the ground. Chhetri not entertaining the appeals and nor does the referee.
35′ Pawan Kumar hasn’t been tested yet, but the clearance from the goalkeeper during the latest set-piece invokes fear in the Highlanders’ camp. The goalkeeper punched back the ball directly in to the Bengaluru crowd, but the Highlanders have the help from the referee as a Bengaluru player hands the ball.
33′ MIKUUUU!!! The Venezuelan striker dances past the NorthEast backline, finding an open space for him to penetrate, but he is let down by his finishing again! He literally back-passes the ball to the goalkeeper Pawan Kumar.
30′ It’s chaos in the NorthEast box as Miku chases a long ball from Dimas Delgado. Three NorthEast defenders come to the rescue, Leudo clearing it.
28′ Miku now has missed two big chances already and it has left his coach frustrated. Bengaluru, meanwhile, keep knocking the doors but NorthEast’s defence stand still.
26′ MIKKUUU MISSES AGAIN! Miku misses what should have been a definite goal for the Blues. Harmanjot Khabra sees the run of Udanta Singh and picks him on the right side, Udanta’s cross is what Miku would miss to nominate himself for miss of the season award!
25′ Bengaluru FC needs goals and that one should have been their first of the game. Miku would hope he doesn’t have to rue the chance later. Meanwhile, Gallego chases another ball, but this time, Juanan has it cleared in the right moment.
23′ Bengaluru FC look for a way out from the chaos and they COME CLOSE! A good run and then a nearly perfect cross from Nishu Kumar is not met well by his Venenzuelan striker Miku. It should have been put in by the former La Liga player.
20′ A run down the left flank from Gallego wins the Highlanders a corner-kick. The Highlanders are dealing in set-pieces at the moment. Bengaluru defend the corner well but end up giving another set-piece through a handball.
19′ A vicious ball from Gallego into the Bengaluru box testes the Bengaluru’s defence-line. They do good this time, but it’s going to be done throughout the game.
17′ Reagan Singh wins NorthEast a corner-kick with a calculated move from the Highlanders. The Highlanders are already counting the clock down.
15′ A strangely taken set-piece from Miku and Dimas Delgado win the home-side a corner. Bengaluru haven’t been doing well at the set-pieces against the Highlanders since the previous game.
13′ We have the first foul of the game and it’s Xisco’s theatrics that win the home side the ball after the Spanish midfielder receives a slight push from the on-surging Keegan Pereira.
12′ NorthEast would be happy with a draw, it is Bengaluru who need the goals. There are no signs of urgency from the two sides though.
10′ NorthEast suddenly look to have come alive into the game, dictating the run of play and being more on attack than the home side.
8′ Dimas looks sloppy and loses the ball to Gallego. Gallego and Mascia run for a counter, a well-executed one but Mascia lacks the finishing this time. Gurpreet saves it and Bengaluru fans have a sigh of relief.
5′ The corner-kick resulted from the previous move is defended well by the Highlanders. Bengaluru dominating the proceedings in the initial minutes of the game.
4′ Sunilll!! And the Indian captain has started the game on an ambitious note. Chhetri receives a good ball from Nishu Kumar and crosses it into the NorthEast box, but Keegan Periera is there to help the travelling side.
2′ Bengaluru need goals and they have already started looking for them. Delgado’s ambitious long ball is headed back by Miku, but there’s a NorthEast midfielder.
1′ KICK-OFF! The game is kicked-off with the home side attacking from right to left.
7:30 PM – The national anthem is over, the toss has been done and it’s just a matter of a few moments before we see the kick-off for the second leg of the game.
7:25 PM – The substitutes for the game are:
Bengaluru FC: Soram Porei, Albert Serran, Rino Anto, Boithang Haokip, Kean Lewis, Luis Lopez, Semboi Haokip.
NorthEast United FC: Gurmeet, Gurwinder Singh, Shouvik Ghosh, Nikhil Kadam, Panagiotis Triodis, Bartholomew Ogbeche.
7:15 PM – The line-ups for the two teams are:
Bengaluru FC: Gurpreet Singh Sandhu (GK), Rahul Bheke, Juanan, Harmanjot Khabra, Nishu Kumar, Dimas Delgado, Xisco Hernandez, Udanta Singh, Alejandro Garcia Barrera, Sunil Chhetri (C), Miku.
NorthEast United FC: Pawan Kumar (GK), Janeiler Rivas, Reagan Singh, Mato Grgic, Robert Lalthlamuana (C), Lalthathanga Khawlhring, Redeem Tlang, Federico Gallego, Lalrempuia Fanai, Jose Leudo, Juan Mascia.
7:00 PM- Hello everyone. It is a wonderful evening here in Bengaluru and it is a delight to host the 2018-19 ISL season playoffs second leg at the Sree Kanteerava Stadium. Both sets of players are already in the venue and are just waiting to get on the pitch to kick off their respective campaigns on a high note. The weather here is just perfect for a high voltage football game between the two Indian Super League behemoths, Bengaluru FC and NorthEast United in the second leg of this playoff clash. Stay tuned and enjoy the commentary of with Khel Now Football!