This Friday, March 3rd, Bengaluru FC and Kerala Blasters FC locked horns in a crucial match of the Indian Super League (ISL) at the Sree Kanteerava Stadium in Bangalore. The match was crucial for both teams, as a win for Bengaluru would secure their spot in the semifinals, while Kerala Blasters were looking to keep their hopes of qualification alive.
The match started with both teams being cautious and looking to control possession. Bengaluru had more of the ball in the first half, but failed to create any clear-cut chances. Kerala Blasters, on the other hand, were happy to sit back and hit on the counter.
The second half was much of the same, with both teams cancelling each other out. Bengaluru continued to dominate possession, but were unable to break down a resolute Kerala Blasters defence. The match looked to be heading towards a goalless draw, which would have been a frustrating result for Bengaluru, who needed a win to secure their spot in the semifinals.
However, in extra time, Indian football legend Sunil Chhetri stepped up to score a crucial goal for Bengaluru in the 96th minute. Chhetri, who had been relatively quiet throughout the match, showed his class and experience: the Indina international finished rapidly a free-kick taking the entire oppposition defense by surprised, lobbing the keeper and score what proved to be the winner later.
The Fijian Roy Krishna was instrumental in the match as he played the entire regular time and also extra time. He was a constant threat to the Kerala Blasters defence and created several chances for his team.
The match ended 1-0 in favour of Bengaluru, who secured their spot in the semifinals of the ISL. They will now face the regular season top-placed side Mumbai City FC, in what promises to be a thrilling encounter. Bengaluru will be hoping to carry their momentum into the semifinals, while Kerala Blasters will be left ruing their missed chances.