ISL: Kerala Blasters walk off after controversial Sunil Chhetri freekick; Bengaluru FC in semi-final

Bengaluru FC made it to the semi-final of the Indian Super League after a controversial Sunil Chhetri freekick against the Kerala Blasters at the Sree Kanteerava Stadium in Bengaluru on Friday. Blasters players were up in arms after Chhetri curled the freekick into the goal in the seventh minute of extra time while the Kerala keeper was out of position.

When the referee allowed the goal to stand, the Blasters players walked off. After around 20 minutes when they did not return, the match was declared as a win for Bengaluru. They will take on League Shield Winners Mumbai City FC in the two-legged semi-final on March 7 and 12 which starts with an away trip.

After the match, Bengaluru coach Simon Grayson told Star Sports that he had tried to convince his Blasters counterpart not to let his team walkoff.

“If that happened to my team, I wouldn’t have walked off the pitch. i would have asked my players to try and score an equaliser.”

He went to clarify what had happened during the freekick.

“We got the freekick. Sunil asked the referee if he can take it quickly and the referee said yeah. So he did!” said Grayson.

Before the walk off, Blasters had dominated possession in the first half but couldn’t get past Gurpreet Singh Sandhu in the Bengaluru FC goal. Relying on the quick feet of Roy Krishna and Sivasakthi Narayanan, the Blues were content to play on the counter.

The hosts had six shots in the first half, but only one on target. Three of those shots were attempted by Krishna. The Fijian registered the only shot on target of the half in the 24th minute from a tight angle. Gill almost parried it straight into the path of Hernandez, but it was cleared away for a corner from which Krishna failed to keep his header on target.

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