Super Cup: Bengaluru rides on Chhetri hat-trick, books semis spot

Bengaluru FC rode on a hat-trick from skipper Sunil Chhetri to defeat Neroca FC 3-1 and reach the semifinal of the Super Cup.

Sunil Chhetri reacts after scoring against Neroca on Friday.   -  Biswarjan Rout

Bengaluru FC rode on skipper Sunil Chhetri’s hat-trick to defeat Neroca FC 3-1 and seal a semi-final spot in the Super Cup. Bengaluru will next face Mohun Bagan in the semi-final on April 17.

Bengaluru began the game on an attacking note, but the I-League runner up side, Neroca portrayed a solid defence.

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BFC was soon rewarded for its consistent attacks in the 13th minute when Chhetri found the net with a spectacular header. Udanta Singh sent a cross from the left flank and while Neroca goalkeeper Lalit Thapa punched the ball away, it landed only as far as Chhetri, who put his side ahead.

Neroca staged a few attacks but the lack of quality crosses and a few fine saves by Bengaluru’s Gurpreet Singh eluded the Manipur outfit from an equaliser. Neroca, however, restored parity in the first-half stoppage time, when Pritam pounced on Gurpreet's failure to collecting the ball and found the back of the net.

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BFC pressed hard right from the start of the second half and struck in the 55th minute through Chhetri. Neroca tried to stage a comeback but failed to find the all-important equaliser.

Chhetri put the tie beyond doubt when he completed his hat-trick in the dying moments of the game to lead his side to a 3-1 win.

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