New Delhi: ATK Mohun Bagan made their way to the Indian Super League (ISL) 2022-23 after pipping Hyderabad FC in the penalty shoot-out. This will be their second appearance in the final.
Juan Ferrando-coached side managed to finish third in the league standings, with 34 points in 20 games. Setting up a knockout clash against Odisha FC at home in Kolkata, the Mariners emerged victorious in a 2-0 victory.
ATK Mohun Bagan vs Chennaiyin FC
Juan Ferrando’s ATKMB lost their first-ever home game against Chennaiyin FC in a 1-2 defeat. Although, the Mariners netted their first goal in the first-half. The ATKMB ended up chasing their second half against Chennaiyin FC after the visitors netted two within 20 minutes.
The turning point
Following their loss in the season opener, the side faced an uphill task with crucial fixtures against Kerala Blasters FC, city rivals East Bengal FC, and Mumbai City FC. With a commanding comeback 5-2 win against Kerala Blasters FC at their own backyard, Ferrando put the word out that ATK Mohun Bagan were back.
— ATK Mohun Bagan FC (@atkmohunbaganfc) March 16, 2023
Nerve-racking match again Mumbai FC
The Mariners went down early through a Lallianzuala Chhangte’s goal against Mumbai FC. With the game headed for a Mumbai City FC win against ATK Mohun Bagan, Ferrando pulled out a trump card as he put on Carl McHugh for Hugo Boumous, who eventually scored the equaliser in the last minutes of the game. The match ended on 2-2 equal score on the board.
First ever last against Goa FC
It was the nightmarish outing for ATKMB as they were thrashed 3-0 by Goa FC. The Gaurs outsmarted them with their brilliant attacking display and kept the Kolkata side on the backfoot throughout the game.
To further worsen things on the night, midfielder Joni Kauko had to be stretchered off the pitch after sustaining a grievous ACL injury and was later ruled out for the season, accompanying Florentin Pogba on the injury list.
Four fabulous win
The Mariners fought back after their loss. A series of 1-0 victories against table toppers Hyderabad FC, Bengaluru FC, and Jamshedpur FC followed by a goalless draw against Odisha FC resulted in the side drifting towards the upper half of the table.
Knock-out game against Odisha FC
In the 36th minute, Dimitri Petratos sent in a quick corner which was then cheekily back-heeled to find Hugo Boumous who fired it across to hand the lead.
Trailing and chasing the game, the Clifford Miranda coached side were yet again outclassed, this time in the middle third, as Carl McHugh regained the ball with a clever tackle that made its way to Boumous who played it onto McHugh as the latter squared it off to Petratos who kicked it past Amrinder Singh to put the game to bed.
— ATK Mohun Bagan FC (@atkmohunbaganfc) March 15, 2023
Semi-final clash against Hyderabad FC
The first-leg of the semi-final, played in Hyderabad, saw each side having their fair share of chances. However, it was the defences of both teams that came out on top on numerous occasions, nullifying the attacking threat.
In the second leg of the game, ATK Muhan Bagan started the game on the front foot right from the get go and dominated the proceedings. At the end of nine penalties, it was skipper Pritam Kotal who slotted past the final penalty to land ATK Mohun Bagan into the Hero ISL 2022-23 final.