Bengaluru:Sandesh Jhingan sent Bengaluru FC to the final of the ISL by scoring in sudden death against Mumbai City FC at Sree Kanteerava Stadium here on Sunday.
Before that goalkeeper Gurpreet Sandhu pulled off a brilliant save to deny Mehtab Singh to take Bengaluru one step closer to a memorable win 9-8 in the penalty shootout after the game ended with 2-2 aggregate score.
It was a sensational tie after Bengaluru had knocked off the first leg of the semi final 1-0 in their favour, but Mumbai came back strongly to take the second leg 2-1 and level the two-leg tie.
After the first break, both the teams battled it out toe-to-toe. Bengaluru created a few good chances early on, but Mumbai countered promptly. However, the visitors got the first real chance, but Greg Stewart missed the penalty.
Then rubbed salt to Mumbai’s wounds after Javier Hernandez headed the first goal, helping Bengaluru get the lead. Soon after, Mumbai got into the act and played attacking football, which resulted in an equaliser through Bipin Singh.
Then, Vignesh Dakshinamurthy tried something special, but he was denied by the crossbar. Both sides continued playing attacking football, trying to put pressure on each other, but none could get any more goals.
The second half was fiercely contested, and it was Mehtab who headed in Mumbai’s second goal in the 66th minute to level the aggregate score.
Mumbai dominated the game from then on, but Bengaluru had regular chances on the counter.
In extra time, Jorge Diaz missed a couple of golden opportunities whereas Phurba Lachenpa made a couple of sensational saves to take the game into a penalty shootout.
It was a shootout as well with players from both teams scoring with ease until Mumbai’s hero from earlier on, Mehtab saw his spot-kick saved by Gurpreet which was also the 17th kick of the shootout to allow Bengaluru a real shot at glory.
Jhingan stepped up and scored the winning penalty to send the crowd into ecstasy, and Bengaluru stormed into the final.