Bengaluru Won the Hearts, Chennaiyin Won the League: The Talking Points

Rohit Ganguly  |  Indian Super League  |  1 Year Ago

After a thrilling encounter for 90 minutes, Chennaiyin FC came out on top as they pipped Bengaluru FC by 3 goals to 2.


Despite taking an early lead after Sunil Chhetri headed home from a delectable cross of Udanta Singh, Bengaluru got pegged back when Mailson scored the same goal twice to take away the lead from BFC. Raphael Augusto curled in a sublime third after being teed up by Jeje. Just to instigate the last minute drama, Miku blasted a powerful header into the back of the net to make it 3-2 in the dying embers of the game. However, just with one minute remaining, Bengaluru had a mountain to climb and Chennai very tactfully elapsed away the last sixty seconds, thereby clinching the prestigious ISL trophy for the second time.


We will now sneak a peek into the pointers which impinged the grand finale.

A final indeed as it was a rip-roarer right until the end

A final at the grandest stages of all did justify its title. With great box to box action, with five goals and with an electrifying ambiance, Sree Kanteerava stadium had to offer everything, a football aficionado would love to relish.


A cut and run battle across the entire pitch witnessed some intensified actions at both the ends. None of the teams truly dominated each other but both of them looked equally menacing at all time and were ready to steal anything that came their way.



With players like Udanta Singh, Gregory Nelson, Lenny Rodriguez gracing the midfield, the speed was blistering and both the rearguards had a tough time to keep their counterparts at bay.


One of the best parts of today’s game was the long rangers. Sunil Chettri and Miku tried several long shots in order to harrow Karanjit, but the Chennai custodian was up to the task. Similarly, Gurpreet had to face a herculean task of thwarting pile-drivers from the likes of Jeje, Sereno, and Augusto.

Chennai’s defence exhibited top-notch character to keep the BFC firepower in check

Despite conceding an early goal, Chennai rallied back in style to deny an inch to BFC until the dying embers. The rearguard was spearheaded by Henrique Sereno who scored the equalizer in the previous ISL final for ATK, Mailson, and Calderon. These three made life a nightmare for the Bengaluru players.


Sunil was always in the right position, but Sereno and Calderon switched their positions vehemently to bedevil the Indian skipper. Alongside that Mailson used his towering stature to bottle up Miku. The Venezuelan sensation seemed like an indifferent striker amidst a melee of Chennai boots.


To add to their woes, not only did Mailson disposed his defensive responsibilities perfectly, but he also managed to score twice from Gregory Nelson’s corner, thereby giving the lead to Chennai from being a goal down.

Five fabulous goals always kept the concourse hooked

It was a goal-fest at Kanteerava on the big night. The fest started off with an emphatic finish from Sunil Chettri as early as in the ninth minute of the game. Udanta darted down the right following a through-ball intended for him and dinked a delectable center for Sunil Chettri and the Indian skipper headed it home with brute force thereby sending the home crowd into an ineffable frenzy.


The joys for Bengaluru were transient as Mailson jumped above all the BFC defenders to head home from a curling corner of Gregory Nelson in the 17th minute, thereby restoring parity.


Just as the game was heading towards the breather, it was advantage Chennai as Mailson Alves emulated his previous goal and scored an exact replica of the same making it 2-1 for the visitors.



It was all but over for BFC when Raphael Augusto was teed up by Jeje in the box and he curled in a stellar goal to make it 3-1 for the Machans.


Just as the audience had enough of torment on their frayed nerves, Miku blasted a powerful header in the dying embers of the game thereby once again sending the onlookers to their feet.

Despite this late stunner, BFC had very little time to recover from the damage done early in the game.

The referee deserves a special mention for the night

On a swashbuckling night like this, the reins of the game need to be in the strongest hands who will rule the crowd and the players with an iron fist. That is what exactly the referee for tonight carried out in style.


With several appeals for penalty being made at both ends, the referee turned a blind eye and a deaf ear to all of them. When tempers flared, he darted in with the loudest voices, admonishing the players whenever needed and even booking them for the slightest inkling of mischief. 


He had a tremendous temper and arbitrated the game exactly as a final would deserve after all the fire against sticklers in ISL.

The crowd was indeed the twelfth man for both the teams

A finale will never be a finale without the onlookers heading for it. Despite all the glamour, all the pyrotechnics, all the bright faces, it has to be the zealots, the aficionados, the chauvinists to grace the game.



The super Machans made the journey to Bangalore to cheer for their favourite team. The rest of the stadium was filled until every nook and cranny with supporters. The West Block Blues were on the other end hollering their chants at the top of their voices.


Every goal saw the concourse erupt into ineffable exhilarations and every single move witnessed the crowd on their feet. It was a delight for a fan to be present in the stadium and witness Chennai lift the silverware.


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