ATK Mohun Bagan are through to the semi-finals, yet again. The Mariners confirmed a top-four slot for themselves with a narrow 1-0 over Chennaiyin FC in Fatorda on Thursday night.
ATK Mohun Bagan moved up to second in the Indian Super League – level on points, albeit having played a game more than league leaders Jamshedpur FC – with a 1-0 win over Chennaiyin FC. Furthermore, their success in Fatorda on Thursday night helped them qualify for the semi-finals for the second successive year; ATK MB lost the previous year in the final to Mumbai City FC.
Meanwhile, the loss punctuated Chennaiyin’s hapless domestic season; the Marina Machans are eighth after 20 games but could fall down a place if Goa win their game in hand. Back in Fatora last night, Chennaiyin’s attempt to spoil ATK Mohun Bagan’s procession hit a few stumbling blocks, despite the team collectively attempting more than double the shots as their opponents.
However, Chennaiyin lacked the quality to make those shots count – while the opposite is true for ATK Mohun Bagan. Roy Krishna struck the post for the Mariners within minutes of the kick-off and scored the opening goal of the game seconds before the half-time whistle.
The forward, on both occasions, was picked with precision by Joni Kauko to the right of the goal, and, while his first attempt bounced off the woodwork, his second beat stand-in goalkeeper Samik Mitra from a tight angle, such was the power on the shot. Between the two major events, came a splurge of Chennaiyin shots from dubious positions, which, unsurprisingly, failed to trouble goalkeeper Amrinder Singh.
Nerijus Valskis attempted to restore parity for Chennaiyin after the break, but he was kept in check by the ATK Mohun Bagan defense. The closest the Marina Machans came to a leveler, throughout the 90 minutes, was in the 64th when Reagan Singh’s shot took a huge deflection off Subhasish Bose and clattered the woodwork. The Mariners held on and are through to the semis.