Bengaluru FC coach Albert Roca has warned his players that pressure will be on the hosts in the Indian Super League (ISL) 2017/18 final and also hailed Sunil Chhetri for his hat-trick in his side's 3-1 win over FC Pune City.
The first leg of the semi-final clash at Shree Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex ended in a goalless draw. The Bengaluru based club failed to score the crucial away goal during their trip to Pune, which gave the Maharashtra outfit an advantage in the second leg at the Sree Kanteerava Stadium on 11 March.
Chhetri opened the scoring in the first quarter of the match to put Bengaluru FC up front. He doubled the lead after converting from the spot-kick in the second half. City were successful in reducing the deficit when Jonatan Lucca's free-kick helped his side make the scoreline 2-1 in the final quarter.
However, the India captain's third goal helped in the dying minutes of the match made sure Roca's men sealed a berth in the final of this season's Indian Super League. The Spanish coach is keen on getting his hands on the title in their debut season in the ISL.
"There are two sides to it. On one hand, it is what we wanted - to play here in front of our fans. And I'm very happy about that - for the city, for everybody," Roca was quoted as saying by Sportskeeda.
"But it also puts us under pressure because we cannot fail to play at home. But this is the final - it is a special moment where we have to control our emotions. Let's see, we have this opportunity and we'll do everything possible to win the title," he added.
Bengaluru FC will either face Chennaiyin FC or FC Goa in the final. The first leg between the latter two ended in a 1-1 draw in Chennai. The return leg will be played in Goa on March 13. Roca also gave his thoughts on Chhetri's display against FC Pune City on Sunday.
"What can I say? He is an outstanding player. There are no words to define him. In such an important game... Whether he is 33 or 34 years old - it doesn't matter. He has proved that he is young and has the same mentality. He pushed the others, he is a wonderful player and an outstanding person. But as a team, we would like to be focused not only on him. It is also important to focus on the squad, the technical staff after this important game," BFC coach said.
"It's difficult [to pick one moment]. They had one opportunity but I am yet to see if it was a penalty or not when Subhasish made a foul and the referee gave a free-kick. I have to see if it was inside the box or outside the box but that was a very important moment for sure."
"The second goal gave us a little breathing room. I think we played a good team with strikers that can punish us in two seconds. We did that so we suffered in the second half. Mentally it was difficult at 2-1 because one more goal for them and the situation would not have been easy for us to handle. But Sunil gave us that last breath with few minutes left - not good for my heart!" he added.