Two times ISL champion ATK beat Chennayin FC 3-1, to win their third Indian Super League title at Jawaharlal Nehru (Fatorda) Stadium tonight, as Javi Hernandez (2) and Edu Garcia scored for ATK and Nerijus Valskis brought Chennai-based team briefly back into the match at 69th minute.
ATK vs Chennaiyin FC – Context
ATK and Chennaiyin FC, both three times finalist (including final for 2019-20 season) were eyeing for their third win today.
ATK kept their winning combination, without any change from two semifinals during previous weeks. Chennaiyin FC made one change to bring Germanpreet Singh in the starting eleven, in place of Edwin Vanspaul.
ATK vs Chennaiyin FC – Goals
- Javi Hernandez scored his maiden goal in this edition of the tournament when it mattered most. It was ATK captain Roy Krishna who pick a lob at left flank and send a cross inside Chennaiyin penalty area. Williams rightly left the ball for Javi, who slotted it the roof of the net.
- Edu Garcia scored the all-important second goal, as he combined well with David Williams and provided 2-0 lead to the team from Kolkata. It was business as usual for Spanish, as he placed the ball to Vishal’s left side, to hit the post before crossing goal-line.
- Nerijus Valskis should have won the match and ISL for Chennaiyin if his team was not pitted against ATK defence and Arindam Bhattacharja. This was single occasion, he received the ball unchallenged and hit straight at the top-right corner of the net. Arindam had nothing to do there. But with this goal, Chenniyin got lifeline for the last twenty minutes.
- Javi Hernandez, who opened the talley today, closed the match decisively for ATK at injury time. The substitute and former Indian captain Pronay Halder provided a long through for Javi, who had Vishal and two defenders to beat.
What the scoreboard won’t tell
- Chennaiyin FC had to be hugely unlucky to miss their first goal in the final when they failed to score a goal from two separate chances from the same move within 2 minutes of the game start. Perhaps it was written on the wall in the bold, as Pritam Kotal made one goal-line save and then crossbar denied another Valskis attempt.
- It would have been very unfair to Nerijus Valskis if he had to return without a goal. He was leading Chennaiyin attack and had five attempts before the break. In the end, he had his consolation goal which brought his team back into the match for the last twenty minutes and him the ‘Golden Boot’.
- It was Arindam Bhattacharja who made the evenly contested match look one-sided if you look at the scoreboard. He made six difficult saves to make Chennaiyin FC contain with just a single goal. Most of the time, it was Nerijus Valskis, who was at receiving end. Else Lithuanian would have ended with another three goals against his name. No wonder, Arindam was adjudged ‘Hero of the Match’.
- Roy Krishna, who was ‘Golden Boot’ winner in A-league last season, missed ‘Golden Boot’ in ISL in a whisker. But more importantly, ATK captain had to be withdrawn before the break, because of injury. By that time, he had helped the ISL champion with an assist for ATK’s first goal. His counterpart David Williams, another Australian, assisted for ATK’s second goal.
Results and Records
- This was third title win for ATK in three Indian Super League final appearances. Chennaiyin FC previously made two appearances in ISL final and both times turned victorious. This was one occasion when someone’s clean record had to be tarnished.
- This was second title win for many of ATK team members including their manager Antonio López Habas, who won with the same team in the inaugural edition of the tournament.
- Chennaiyin FC made a huge come back, as they were at last in ISL table with 3 Losses and one draw after four matches (with Goal Difference -7). From there on, they went on to reach final of the tournament was itself very encouraging for Chennai outfit.
- Nerijus Valskis ( Chennaiyin FC), Roy Krishna (ATK) and Bartholomew Ogbeche (Kerala Blasters) scored 15 goals each in the tournament. Nerijus Valskis won the ‘Golden Boot’.
- Arindam Bhattacharja and Vishal Kaith had 9 and 4 clean-sheets respectively. It was Gurpreet Singh Sandhu of Bengaluru FC who won ‘Golden gloves’ for 11 clean-sheets.
- ATK’s Sumit Rathi(18 years) was awarded ‘best emerging player’ for this season.
29-Arindam Bhattacharja, 2-Sumit Rathi, 4-John Johnson, 20-Pritam Kotal, 33-Prabir Das, 25-Regin Michael, 19-Javier Hernandez, 23-Michael Soosairaj, 10-Edu Garcia, 9-David Williams, 21-Roy Krishna.
Substitutes: 1-Dheeraj Singh, 18-Victor Mongil, 3-Armando Sosa Pena, 17-Pronay Halder, 15-Balwant Singh, 22-Jobby Justin, 16-Jayesh Rane.
31-Vishal Kaith, 13-Eli Sabia, 6-Lucian Goian (C), 18-Jerry Lalrinzuala, 26-Laldinliana Renthlei, 28-Germanpreet Singh, 7-Lallianzuala Chhangte, 15-Anirudh Thapa, 50-Rafael Crivellaro, 9-Nerijus Valskis, 27-Andre Schembri.
Substitutes: 1-Karanjit Singh, 5-Masih Saighani, 22-Deepak Tangri, 10-Dragos Firtulescu, 8-Edwin Vanspaul, 11-Thoi Singh, 24-Rahim Ali.