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Chhetri brace takes Bengaluru to semis

Chhetri brace takes Bengaluru to semis
Pune FC went all out in the last quarter of the match and reduced the margin in the 87th minute through Thongkhosiem Haokip. Bengaluru FC finished on top of the group with 10 points to become the first team to make it to the semifinals.

The second team for a semifinal spot from this group will be decided on January 7 when Salgaocar take on Pune FC. Salgaocar (six points) are ahead of Pune FC by two points. The Goan side need a draw to make it to the semi-finals while Pune FC need a win.

Both the teams played a compact game and it was Chhetri who made all the difference in the dying minutes of the first half, scoring a couple of goals that sealed the match in Bengaluru FC’s favour.

Bengaluru FC broke the deadlock from a set piece move. Following a corner kick on the right, Eugeneson Lyngdoh floated the ball into the box where keeper Arminder Singh managed to palm the ball away only to see Chhetri’s superb back-volley finding the net in the 43rd minute. Three minutes into the first half injury time Bengaluru were awarded a penalty after Sean Rooney was brought down by keeper Arminder inside the box. Chhetri converted it by beating keeper to his left.

Chhetri could have scored his hat-trick after the change of ends but rival keeper rose to the occasion to collect his shot. Pune FC made two quick changes and came close to scoring on a few occasions but Ratle did well to put out Thongkhosiem Haokip’s well-directed shot until Haokip managed to score one in the 87th minute. He headed the ball in after keeper Ralte made a mess of an aerial ball.
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