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Miku once again proves that he's Bengaluru FC's treasured gem

1:04 PM GMT+8 13/03/2019
Bengaluru v NorthEast, Indian Super League
The Venezuelan put behind a disastrous first-half performance to eventually make the difference ...

Bengaluru FC were 2-1 down against NorthEast United going into the second leg of the Indian Super League (ISL) play-offs. Scoring just one goal without conceding any would have seen them go through to a second consecutive final. With Miku leading the line of attack, one would have bet on the Blues getting the job done. But a stubborn bunch of Highlanders were always going to put on a fight and make life difficult for the hosts. 

Strangely, the first half witnessed one of Miku’s worst performances ever in terms of taking the chance that he got. The Venezuelan missed three sitters which he would have had no problems converting on any other day. But at the end of 90 minutes, it was the Hitman who walked away with a goal, an assist and a ticket to the finals. 

Nishu Kumar whipped in an inch-perfect cross to Miku early in the first half. The striker failed to make Naveen Kumar work and headed it wide from close range.  

Minutes later, he was unable to keep his shot down following a cut-back by Udanta. Not many would expect Miku – of all people – to sky the ball from the edge of the six-yard box with ample space at his disposal.

To cap off a frustrating half, the Venezuelan failed to produce an end-product to his dazzling run past five NorthEast players. The striker dropped shoulders and eased past the Highlanders’ defence like knife through hot butter but finished the move by passing the ball straight to Pawan Kumar. 

If the NorthEast players walked into the tunnel at half-time thinking that Miku’s night was bound to end in misery, they were terribly wrong. 

The 33-year-old drew first blood in the game after he flicked the ball into the back of the net following Udanta’s brilliant cross. The goal was on Miku’s blind side at the time he made contact with the ball.

With NorthEast desperately chasing a goal, the Venezuelan ensured that his partner-in-crime Sunil Chhetri also added to his tally by setting the skipper through for a one-on-one situation. Chhetri made no mistake and the score-line read Bengaluru 3-0 NorthEast. He was also instrumental in starting the counter-attack for the second goal with a defensive header from a NorthEast corner.

Miku made the difference on a night that did not start off well. This is the type of mentality which makes him an absolute gem for Bengaluru. You can expect the Hitman to make the difference in the final on Sunday.