Sunil Chhetri is a big game player. Whether he’s wearing the captain’s armband for the Indian football team or his club Bengaluru FC, his tenacity on the football pitch ensures that it does not look out of place on his left arm. In the second leg of the Indian Super League semi-final between Bengaluru FC and FC Pune City at the Kanteerava Stadium in Bengaluru, with the tie locked at 0-0, Chhetri produced one of his best individual performances ever.
His hat-trick took Bengaluru FC to a 3-1 win and into the final of the Indian Super League in their very first season. Each goal had Chhetri’s signature all over it – a you-miss-I-hit header across the face of goal, an outrageous panenka from the penalty spot, and a finish from the edge of the box after outpacing his marker when the score was 2-1 and FC Pune City were enjoying a dominant spell of play over the home team towards the end.
Watch all the goals from Chhetri’s hat-trick below, including a consolation free-kick scored by Jonatan Lucca for the away team.
PS: Here’s a tweet from Bengaluru FC’s media manager after the match, that documents Chhetri’s amazing self-confidence before producing a performance worthy of going down in Indian football folklore.
While we're on the panenka thing, this is Chhetri at 4 pm in the media room of the office, verbatim – "If we win a penalty, I'm chipping him down the centre." He scores when he wants. He scores how he wants. #BENPUN
— Kunaal Majgaonkar (@kunmajgaonkar) March 11, 2018
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