Bengaluru drew the curtains on their Indian Super League campaign this season with a 1-0 win over SC East Bengal who finished at rock bottom of the table. Hyderabad, meanwhile, continued their winning march and eliminated Mumbai City from the playoffs race.
East Bengal had another season to forget in the Indian Super League as they finished at the bottom of the table with just a single win to their name in 20 games. The managerial change in the middle of the season did little to change the tide of the red and gold brigade who suffered their 11th defeat of the season in the final match against Bengaluru.
A Sunil Chhetri goal in the 24th minute proved to be the difference between the two sides. The Bengaluru talisman produced a moment of magic to break the deadlock. He received a long ball on his chest deftly and slotted the ball into the back of the net to give his side a well-earned lead. Marco Pezzaiouli’s team finished in sixth position and had 29 points to their name after a decent ISL campaign.
East Bengal suffered a further setback in the second half when Antonio Perosevic had to be replaced with Mario Ribero due to an ankle injury. Bengaluru came close to extending their lead through Chhetri once again but his shot was parried away by East Bengal’s Suvam Sen and the match ended at 0-1 in favour of The Blues.
Defending champions Mumbai City failed to qualify for the semi-finals after suffering a demoralizing 2-1 defeat at the hands of Hyderabad FC in their final league stage fixture at the Fatorda Stadium. Mumbai’s loss paved the path for Kerala Blasters to make it to the top four.
Hyderabad made a positive start to the match which was rewarded with a goal from Rohit Danu in the 14th minute. Capitalizing on multiple deflections, he finished off the move on the far post to steer his side into the lead.
Things went from bad to worse for City who conceded yet another goal from Hyderabad, against the run of play. Joel Chianese latched on to an excellent aerial ball from Yasir Mohammad and finished off the 1v1 situation with ease.
Hyderabad tried to shut shop in the second-half in order to snuff out any chance of a City comeback. Just when all hope seemed to be running out, Mourtada Fall turned up with a solid header with only 15 minutes remaining on the clock. Despite getting another five minutes of added time, the Islanders failed to find the goals that could take them to the knockout stages.