Bengaluru: Miku and Udanta Singh produced two superb late finishes to give Bengaluru FC a 2-0 win over Kerala Blasters at the Sree Kanteerava Stadium, Bengaluru, on Thursday. This means that last year’s finalists, the Blasters failed to make the Indian Super League semifinals this season while debutants Bengaluru finished firmly on top with a mammoth 40 points.
Miku ran onto Daniel Segovia’s flick and finished into the far corner – an exceptionally controlled shot from a tricky angle. Udanta then decided to cut in with the time afforded to him and smashed a left-footer past Paul Rachubka as Bengaluru FC scored two stoppage time goals.
Both players could have scored earlier had they not missed glorious chances in the second half. Udanta failed to hit the target when all it needed was the right connection with his header after a brilliant cross from Toni Dovale. Then it was Miku who raced through on goal but chose to strike from an awkward angle rather than lay it off for Allwyn George who had made a fine run. The ball whipped past the far post.
Things could have been different had Kerala Blasters taken their chances. CK Vineeth had the chance to test Gurpreet Singh seconds after Miku’s initial miss but his shot was blocked as he took too long to pull the trigger.
Sunil Chhetri made his intentions clear as early as the 11th minute when his brilliant strike from 30 yards out just crept past the goal.
Kerala immediately replied with a chance of their own but Milan Singh completely missed his shy at goal from Jackichand Singh’s cross. Jackichand’s lively presence was missed after the 25th minute when he had to go off for a groin injury. Soon enough, his replacement Prasanth K was the recipient of a fine cross from Sandesh Jhingan but failed to work the goalkeeper.
It was a cagey half which ended with Blasters keeper Paul Rachubka putting his body on the line to stop Nishu Kumar scoring. Kumar was through on goal and only a timely intervention stopped him.
Chhetri had another attempt near the hour mark but couldn’t direct it into the net and the second half was more about when the Blasters would start throwing men forward in numbers.
When they eventually attacked Bengaluru, the home side tried to exploit the spaces left behind. They started pumping crosses into the box with Dovale and Dimas Delgado afforded spaces out wide.
Kerala resisted but finally gave way when Miku scored a minute after four minutes of stoppage time were added. And then Udanta added to their misery.