Blog by: Suryakant Tripathi
Sunil Chhetri-led Bengaluru FC reaching the historic AFC Cup final was undoubtedly the biggest moment for Indian football this year. The Indian football captain inspired his side to a 3-1 win over defending champions Johor Darul Ta’zim with his stunning double strike.
By reaching the finals, Bengaluru FC became the first club in Indian football history to make it to the summit clash of the prestigious second-tier continental tournament. Before Bengaluru FC, the farthest an Indian club had advanced in a continental tournament was the two AFC Cup semi-final appearances by Dempo in 2008 and East Bengal in 2013.
Though the Bangalore club failed and missed out on becoming the first Indian club to win a continental title after a 0-1 loss to Air Force Club of Iraq in the final, Chhetri’s men returned home with their heads held high as they set a benchmark for Indian clubs in the future.