Chennaiyin FC were crowned champions for the second time in the Indian Super League (ISL) history after a valiant 3-2 comeback win against debutant Bengaluru FC at the Sree Kanteerava Stadium.
Sunil Chhetri had opened the scoring for Bengaluru as early as the ninth minute but a brace from Mailson Alves and a beautiful goal from Raphael Augusto ensured that the unfancied Chennaiyin lifted the title once again after 2015.
Miku scored a late goal but it hardly mattered in the end.
It took just nine minutes for the first goal and it was the usual suspect Chhetri who capitalised on a deflected cross from Udanta Singh to score a low header.
It was Alves who equalised just eight minutes after his side had gone behind. Chennaiyin’s defenders were brilliant though, with Inigo Calderon making a heroic block when Dimas Delgado took a shot towards goal at the half an hour mark.
Chhetri and Miku both tried their luck from distance as the first half was coming to a close but Alves scored again to give Chennaiyin the lead at a crucial juncture.
The turning point came in the 67th minute when Augusto fired a goal to leave Gurpreet Singh Sandhu with no chance at all. At 3-1, Bengaluru had no chance but to go all-out attack.
Karanjit made a sharp save off Chhetri’s header in the 74th minute.
Chhetri had a glorious opportunity to make the last few minutes exciting but he inexplicably blazed the ball over the bar with a couple of minutes left.
Miku scored in added time though, converting from Udanta’s cross, but it was too late by then. Chennaiyin ran down the clock and emerged champions.