Full-time and it’s ended 2-2 on the night. Istiklol reach the final on aggregate as JSW Bengaluru FC fall short on the night.
It was always going to be a tight affair with the Tajik team leading 1-0 from the first leg but Harmanjot Khabra’s reckless sending off really did the damage to the Blues. Sunil Chhetri did equalise through a penalty in the second half but it was always going to be an uphill task to score two goals with a man short.
Good night from Bengaluru and join us next time as we kick off the I-League and ISL seasons!
90: Five minutes of added time as Istiklol are on the cusp of a second final in three years. Bengaluru have fought valiantly but their AFC Cup 2017 dream is coming to an end.
81: Chhetri is furious as Dzhalilov brings Udanta Singh down. The Tajik defender is already in the book and it did look like a yellow card challenge but the referee doesn’t show the card. Istiklol retain their man advantage in Bengaluru.
72: Roca has played his last hand as Boithang Haokip and Alwyn George come on for Daniel Lalhlimpuia and Nishu Kumar. Last throw of the dice by the home team and it’s now or never for BFC.
70: Lots of time-wasting by Istiklol here, frustrating the home team. This game is anything but over, you feel, as Bengaluru need two goals and are pushing men forward, without a second thought to the defence.
61: What drama at the Kanteerava! Daniel Lalhlimpuia is brought down in the box and the referee points to the spot.
Sunil Chhetri steps up and confidently slots it away. Mind you, they still need two more goals to progress but the score is level on the night, 2-2.
57: Game, set and match!
Dmitry Barkov scores the easiest goal he’ll get all season. He has two goals now in the tie. It was coming as Bengaluru had to go for the jugular, down by a man and were left wide open. Suspicions of offside there as Juan Antonio is booked for his vociferous protests to the referee.
53: First change of the night for Bengaluru, as Lenny Rodrigues is sacrificed for Toni Dovale. Roca going for broke now as the Spaniard realises it’s now or never.
46: We have kick-off in the second half at Bengaluru as Istiklol have gone for an interesting change.
Clearly, the Tajiks smell blood here and Amirbek, a striker comes on.
Bengaluru have been fluent but have not finished their chances as Chhetri hit the crossbar. But two moments of clumsiness, first Gurpreet’s challenge for the penalty and then Khabra’s challenge, have more or less knocked them out of the competition.
As for Khabra, we have seen this tendency in the right-back before but the tackle was unrequired, the winger wasn’t going anywhere, he just prodded the ball and the BFC right-back took the bait. Silly but he had to go as per the laws of the game.
Half-time and difficult to see a way back for Bengaluru.
The task was difficult before Khabra’s sending-off but it will take a miracle with 10 men. Can Albert Roca pull a rabbit out of his hat?
40: Harmanjot Khabra is sent off for a second yellow!
Oh dear, the right-back with a clumsy challenge as the Blues go down to 10 men. The mountain has just become Everest as they need two goals and need to defend for 50 minutes. The Kanteerava has pin-drop silence.
38: Excellent cross by Khabra but Chhetri and Dimas Delgado get in each other’s way as the ball goes out for a free-kick as the two players clash with each other.
Almost a year to this day, Bengaluru pulled off a 3-1 win over defending champions Johor Baru of Malaysia to make it to the finals. Read our recollections from that day.
30: Chhetri hits the crossbar! Unlucky for the BFC skipper. Goes close to giving Bengaluru the lead on the night.
24: Rahul Bheke scores for Bengaluru! Udanta Singh puts a cross in as ‘Javelin Arms’ Bheke equalises for the Blues.
It’s 1-1 at the Kanteerava here as Bengaluru still need two more goals to qualify for the final.
20: Bengaluru have their first corner and Daniel’s up there. Short corner played but is of no avail. 20 minutes in and Istiklol lead 2-0 on aggregate and 1-0 on the night.
3: And they condede! Davronov’s shot is powerful and Gurpreet gets a hand to it but can’t keep it out. Three minutes in and Bengaluru need three to progress now. What will Roca and BFC do from here?
2: Gurpreet with a charge and brings the Istiklol player down as the referee points to the spot. This is early trouble for the home team.
We have kick-off in Bengaluru here! The home team in Blue play left to right.
Welcome to the action from the Sree Kanteerava Stadium where Bengaluru FC trail 1-0 from the first leg of their AFC Cup Inter-Zonal final.
Visitors Istiklol were the 2015 finalists, as Bengaluru lost in the summit clash to Air Force Club in last year’s final. Air Force have already made it to this year’s final.
Albert Roca makes two changes to the line-up that lost in Dushanbe. Harmanjot Khabra and Daniel Lalhlimpuia come in for Collin Abranches and Antonio Dovale as Roca opts for a 4-3-3 formation.