Indian Super League: Chennaiyin FC crowned champions after 3-2 final win over Bengaluru FC

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It wasn’t the storybook ending Bengaluru FC would’ve dreamed about in their debut Indian Super League (ISL) campaign. With the final held at their home ground, the Sree Kanteerava stadium, a win for The Blues was always in the script. Chennaiyin FC clearly weren’t handed a copy.

It was the Marina Machans who clinched a 3-2 win in the final on Saturday, breaking Bengaluru hearts to claim their second ISL title.

In what was an entertaining five-goal thriller, Bengaluru and India skipper Sunil Chhetri opened the scoring with a stooping header from Udanta Singh’s cross in the ninth minute. Chennaiyin defender Mailson Alves headed in the equaliser eight minutes later from Gregory Nelson’s corner kick.

Bengaluru conceded another corner kick on the strike of half-time that saw the combination for Chennaiyin’s first goal come good again as Alves nodded home Nelson’s delivery.

With the Chennai outfit in the driving seat, they were able to play on the counter-attack and Raphael Augusto added a third goal on the break in the 67th minute.

Despite breaking the deadlock on the day, it quickly turned into a frustrating outing for Indian football icon Chhetri. The 33-year-old was denied with a header from close range by an outstanding finger-tip save from Karanjit Singh. Then in the 86th minute, the striker inexplicably missed the target from the middle of the box. Miku’s pass left Chhetri with an empty net at his mercy but he shockingly blazed his effort over the bar.

Miku did pull one back for Bengaluru in the first minute of injury time, heading in another cross from Udanta, to make it a nervy finish for John Gregory’s men but it proved to be too little too late.

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