Miku, Udanta injury-time strikes seal win for BFC

Kerala Blasters, which had no chance of qualifying for the playoff round, ended its campaign with 25 points.

Bengaluru FC 's Udanta Singh celebrates after scoring injury-time goal against Kerala Blasters.   -  K. Murali Kumar

A frenetic injury-time stretch gave Bengaluru FC (BFC) a 2-0 victory over Kerala Blasters in their final ISL league encounter here on Thursday.

With the game locked at 0-0 at the end of regulation time, Miku and Udanta Singh scored in the space of two minutes to seal the deal. The win underlined BFC’s status as the best team in the tournament. Kerala Blasters, which had no chance of qualifying for the playoff round, ended its campaign with 25 points.

Both sides entertained the 25,373-strong boisterous crowd with free-flowing football. Perhaps for the first time at this venue, the number of away fans matched that of the home supporters as the players battled on the field, the supporters fought for bragging rights in the stands.

Read: Key highlights from BFC vs Blasters clash

Kerala Blasters nearly had the perfect start when BFC old boy C.K. Vineeth found himself in a good position to receive a cross from Jackichand Singh. Vineeth, however, swung wildly with his left foot and failed to make contact with the ball. A few minutes later, Gudjon Baldvinsson made a fine run, but could not find Vineeth in the box.

At the other end, the combination of Sunil Chhetri and Miku made life tough for Kerala's defence. Chhetri regularly threaded the needle with terrific through-balls, but his team-mates were unable to convert.

Chances came and went at regular intervals, and it looked like the teams were destined to settle for a point each. It took a Miku special to break the deadlock, a minute into injury-time. A solo run ended with a strong shot which beat English goalkeeper Paul Stephen at the far-post. The home fans, led by the West Block Blues contingent, came to life.

Almost immediately after the restart, Udanta added to the tally with a low, left-footed shot. The travelling Kerala Blasters fans were stunned, but found the courage to cheer their dejected players one last time this season.

BFC head coach Albert Roca stated that while he was happy to get the three points, the focus must shift to the playoff rounds. “Finishing the league stage in first position is a great achievement, but the important phase starts now. We must work even harder. This victory helps us enter the playoff rounds with a lot of confidence," Roca said.

The result:

Bengaluru FC 2 (Miku 90+1, Udanta Singh 90+3) bt Kerala Blasters 0.