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Bengaluru FC first ever Indian club to make it to Asia Cup final with 3-1 win over JDT

Joy Tirkey | Updated on: 19 October 2016, 21:22 IST

Bengaluru FC created history on 19 October at the Kanteerava stadium when they kicked their way to a fantastic win against Johor Darul Ta-zim in the semi-finals of the Asian Football Confederation Cup. They are the first Indian club to make it to the finals of the tournament.

Dempo FC in 2008 and East Bengal in 2013 made it to the semi-finals.

The second leg of the fixture, which Bengaluru played at their fortress, held so much important because Bengaluru FC had drawn the first.

The first half of the game saw Bengaluru FC on the attacking mode from the very beginning of the match. Both the teams created chances for scoring a goal in the initial minutes, but it was the defending champions Johor Darul Ta'zim which capitalised on Amrinder Singh's poor clearance in the 11th minute and it was Safiq bin Rahim who put the visitors in the lead. The aggregate score stood 1-2 post the goal.

Bengaluru FC kept on attacking the opposition as they created a lot of chances only to be denied every time. Sunil Chhetri hit the crossbar on a number of occasions as Bengaluru drew closer to equal the score.

By the 27th minute, the hosts missed three consecutive chances as the Johor goalkeeper did a clean job keeping the ball at bay. Yet again, on the second rebound, Chhetri hit the crossbar leaving him frustrated.

In the 41st minute, Chhetri rose to the occasion and scored a free header off Lyngdoh's corner kick. Chhetri's strike equalised the score for the Indian team.

The second half commenced with the blue army on an attacking mode. But the visitors too were determined to defend their title.

Zainal, in the 48th minute made a good run with the ball, but Amrinder got hold of the ball. It was on the counter right after this that Chhetri received a ball from Vineeth and curled the ball way too much to miss the bar. Bengaluru FC kept the game in flow with swift passes and consecutive counter attacks.

Johor looked to break the deadlock in the 63rd minute, but the defenders managed to clear the ball away. The blue army, keeping their cool, managed to keep most of their possession as the game intensified. Chhetri showed some skills in the 65th minute, when he made a cheeky pass for Vineeth, but Johor goalkeeper negated Vineeth's chance at the goal.

Bengaluru FC took the lead in the game with Chhetri finding the back of the net in the 67 minute. He curled the ball with his right feet towards the top left corner of the post beating Johor keeper Izham. With that, the stadium with over 21,000 supporters could smell the making of history.

With another chance at doubling the lead, Lyngdoh made a swift run on the left with the ball but Izham punched the ball away and blocked Chhetri's counter shot.

It was in the 75 minute when Antonio González Fernández increased Bengaluru FC's lead with the third goal when he glanced the ball in the form of a beautiful header off Lyndon's free-kick. The stadium erupted in ecstasy as the hosts stepped towards scripting history.

The game intensified, as the defending champions upped the ante and attacked the home team at every opportunity they got. Bengaluru kept the balls at bay and adapted to a defensive style of play towards the end of the game.

As the referee blew the whistle, Bengaluru FC entered the final of the AFC Cup and the players and the supporters screamed with joy.

The whole of India will rally behind Bengaluru FC when they play the final against Iraq's Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya in Doha.

First published: 19 October 2016, 21:22 IST
 
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