Controversy in ISL as Kerala Blasters lose playoff game vs Bengaluru FC
Bengaluru FC stormed into the semi-finals of the Indian Super League in controversial circumstances after a refereeing decision abandoned Kerala Blasters’ playoff tie on Friday. Bengaluru FC scored in the seventh minute of extra time through Sunil Chhetri, but the Blasters were not happy with the way the goal was scored. There was a discussion between the Kerala Blasters footballers and the referee which ended with them leaving the field and going to the side. The Bengaluru FC players waited for the remainder of the game and were awarded the match.
Bengaluru FC on Friday stormed into the semi-finals of the Indian Super League (ISL) following a 1-0 win over Kerala Blasters FC at the Sree Kanteerava Stadium in Bengaluru. The only goal of the match was scored by Sunil Chhetri in the seventh minute of extra time to seal his side’s ninth consecutive win and a place in the semi-finals.
The Blasters dominated the first half but could not get past Gurpreet Singh Sandhu in the Bengaluru FC goal. The Blues were content to play on the counter, relying on the quick feet of Roy Krishna and Sivasakthi Narayanan.
The hosts had six shots in the first half, but only one on target. Three of these shots were made by Krishna. The Fijian registered the only shot on the crossbar in the 24th minute from a tight angle. Gill almost crossed it straight into the path of Hernandez but it was cleared for a corner as Krishna failed to keep his header on target.
Three minutes after the half-hour mark, Danish Farooq’s superb header from a corner missed an unmarked Victor Mongil at the far post, before going over the flag against the defender.
The second half was much the same, as the visitors held more ball and the hosts waited to launch on counter. The Blasters had a chance to test the keeper through a free kick in the 53rd minute but Adrian Luna saved it. Around the hour mark, Suresh Wangjam’s effort from outside the box flew through traffic and was palmed back by Gill for a corner.
In the final quarter of the match, the Blasters pressed further up the pitch, but the Bengaluru FC defense held their shape to contain the attacks. Dimitrios Diamantakos had his team’s first shot on target in the 83rd minute but Sandhu comfortably claimed his header before the game went into extra time.
In the first minute of extra time, Rahul KP tried his luck from range as his shot took a flick off Luna and went inches wide of the far post. Bengaluru FC responded quickly at the other end as Bruno Ramires took his head for a corner but sent it over the bar.
In the seventh minute of extra time, a quickly taken free kick by Chhetri flew into the back of the net. The match was forfeited after the Blasters disagreed with the decision, and a win was awarded to Bengaluru FC.
Bengaluru FC Hero has progressed to the next stage of the ISL playoffs. The Blues will take on League Shield winners Mumbai City FC in a two-legged semi-final on March 7 and 12, which begins with an away trip.
(with third party input)
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