Two shocking penalty kicks sank Delhi Dynamos FC at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium.
New Delhi: Two shocking penalty kicks sank Delhi Dynamos FC at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium here on Wednesday.
They did enough to beat Kerala Blasters FC 2-1 in the second leg of the second semi-final of the Hero Indian Super League despite being down to 10 men before half-time, but went out 3-0 in the shootout after the tie ended 2-2 on aggregate following extra time.
All three goals on the night came in the first half with Marcelinho scoring the opener for Delhi before Duckens Nazon equalised for Kerala.
Dynamos defender Milan Singh was red carded shortly before the half hour mark but Ruben Rocha scored for the Lions at end of the first period to take the game to extra time and beyond.
And when it mattered, Delhi missed all three of their penalties in the shootout. Florent Malouda and Bruno Pelissari ballooned the first two kicks over the Blasters goal, allowing Mohammed Rafique to hit the winning penalty to enter the final.
Delhi were on the attack straight from the start as they looked to level scores on aggregate, while Kerala looked threatening on the counter, breaking at pace and looking to catch out the Dynamos.
The game burst into life in the 21st minute when a half-clearance of a Marcos Tebar ball by Didier Boris Kadio fell to Marcelinho. Delhi’s Brazilian talisman made no mistake as he composed himself before placing the ball past Sandip Nandy in goal to make it 1-0 for the Lions and 1-1 on aggregate.
Kerala responded immediately courtesy of some individual brilliance by Nazon three minutes later. The Haitian forward ran at Delhi’s defence, cut in from the left and belted a thunderous effort beyond a helpless Antonio Doblas in goal, making it 1-1 on the night and 2-1 on aggregate in favour of the Blasters.
The match took another turn in favour of the visitors in the 28th minute when the referee sent off Milan after a foul on Mehtab Hossain. The Lions, however, and got their equaliser on the stroke of half-time when Tebar floated a free-kick into the box. Rocha rose the highest and directed his header into the back of the net to make it 2-1 to Delhi on the night and 2-2 on aggregate.