Bengaluru FC edged Mumbai City FC 9-8 on penalties at the Sree Kanteerava Stadium on Sunday to enter the Indian Super League final.
With the aggregate tied at 2-2, Mehtab Singh’s was the first missed spot-kick of a high-quality shoot-out. Sandesh Jhingan buried the ball into the right bottom corner to send BFC through to its third final.
The result was cruel for MCFC goalkeeper Phurba Lachenpa, who made no less than four first-rate saves, including one off Roy Krishna’s head in the first half of extra-time. But the evening’s result was just reward for the tireless Javi Hernandez, BFC’s best player on the pitch.
MCFC could have opened the scoring in the 10th minute when BFC custodian Gurpreet Singh Sandhu brought down Jorge Pereyra Diaz clumsily. But Greg Stewart let go of the opportunity with a poor spot-kick.
Minutes later, the visitors paid the price as Hernandez sent BFC into the lead. N. Sivasakthi hoodwinked Mehtab with a smart turn on the left flank and curled in a fine cross that was headed home by Hernandez.
MCFC, though, equalised on the half-hour mark through Bipin Singh, who bundled in the ball from close range after Gurpreet had thwarted Rowllin Borges’ first attempt. D. Vignesh hit the bar from long for MCFC and Hernandez drew a fine save from Lachenpa.
After the break, the two goalkeepers continued to be busy; Lachenpa had to deny Hernandez again before Gurpreet palmed away a header from Bipin. But Mehtab, on 66 minutes, levelled the tie on aggregate, heading in a corner past Gurpreet at the near post.
Moments later, Hernandez finally seemed to have Lachenpa’s measure as he eyed the most acute of angles, only for the MCFC ’keeper to save it with his fingertips. Rahul Bheke could have clinched it for MCFC in the dying minutes of regulation time but his glancing header went just wide.
Extra-time was manic, with Pereyra Diaz missing two gilt-edged chances from close and Mourtada Fall nearly scoring an own goal for MCFC. In the end, it was BFC which had the last laugh.
The result: Bengaluru FC 1 (Hernandez 22) lost to Mumbai City FC 2 (Bipin 30, Mehtab 66) [aggregate 2-2; BFC won 9-8 on penalties].
Latest on Sportstar
- Lionel Messi bids farewell to Paris amid boos
- Jabeur overcomes slow start to reach French Open fourth round
- Cerundolo downs Fritz to reach second week of slam for first time
- Nuggets coach says ‘We haven’t done a damn thing’ in NBA Finals
- Haddad Maia becomes first Brazilian woman to reach French Open last 16 in 44 years