ATK host Bengaluru looking for turnaround in road to final

A place in the Hero Indian Super League final is at stake as ATK take on Bengaluru FC at the Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan here on Sunday.

A place in the Hero Indian Super League final is at stake as ATK take on Bengaluru FC at the Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan here on Sunday.

Bengaluru are in the driving seat after edging the first leg 1-0 last week. They have their noses ahead but not by much. ATK know that they have a task on their hands given how resolute Bengaluru are in defence. The likes of Roy Krishna, David Williams and Edu Garcia found little joy against the likes of Juanan Gonzalez in the first leg.

Breaching a defence that has conceded just 13 goals in 19 matches in ISL will be a huge ask, but something Antonio Habas will hope his side can manage at home. ATK have a strong home record and have won six of their nine matches here, scoring 18 of their 33 goals in the process.

More importantly, ATK defeated Bengaluru 1-0 during the league stages when the Blues travelled here. “We expect a very tough game. It is the most important game for ATK in the last three seasons. They didn’t reach the play-offs in the last two seasons and for us, it can be a third final in a row,” said Bengaluru FC coach Carles Cuadrat.

ATK will hope their full-backs, Prabir Das and Michael Soosairaj, measure up to the challenge this time around. They could not give much service to Krishna and Williams in Bengaluru but will hope to make amends on Sunday. Given that Bengaluru have a problem after left-back Nishu Kumar was sent off in the first leg, Prabir will be expected to be a nuisance down that flank.

Importantly, ATK have to remain cautious at the back since one mistake can give Bengaluru a huge away goal. It was Arindam Bhattacharya’s error that helped Deshorn Brown score in Bengaluru despite the Blues creating not many opportunities.

“Our aim is to win the game and be in the final. My duty as a coach is to prepare the team for the challenge. It is an important challenge for ATK. We are prepared. We have to try to get goals. We need the support of the fans. I think it is very important to score goals but it’s very very important not to concede,” said Habas.

However, Bengaluru’s prowess from set-pieces is well documented and with the likes of Sunil Chhetri and Erik Paartalu’s abilities key there. Dimas Delgado’s delivery is more often than not threatening and the ATK defence will have to find a solution to deal with that threat.

Bengaluru have not been scoring freely but their defending has pulled them out of tight situations countless times this season. They will back themselves to pull off another result against ATK but do have a few concerns. Apart from Nishu’s absence, centre-back Albert Serran is an injury doubt which might see a rejig in defence.

“We know we can go there and win the match. Even if we lose 2-1 or 3-2 we will be in the final so we will try to do our best there,” Cuadrat said.

One thing is clear though. Given what is at stake, both sides will go hammer and tongs at each other. Bengaluru have a chance to reach a third consecutive ISL final while ATK can reach their third ISL final ever.

For Trial related updates: Latest trials updates in Mumbai Football

Show off your Indian and European football knowledge with the football fantasy game from Playerzpot. Download the App with our special Footballcounter referral code, start playing and win cash daily.

Download app here: Link or click on the image below

Follow us on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram for all the latest happenings in the world of Indian football.

Oscar SSE to conduct trials for multiple age-groups in Mumbai

Mumbai based Oscar SSE will conduct trials for their youth teams on 17th April at the Karnatak Sports Association ground. Oscar SSE is a 2-star AIFF Accredited Academy plying their…


FC Hydra invites all aspiring footballers in Bengaluru for a Trial

FC Hydra will be holding trials for all the aspiring footballers for the upcoming KSFA C Division League. The club has previously held trials for the Women’s team for the…


Kenkre FC to conduct trials for Women’s Team

Mumbai-based Kenkre FC are slated to conduct trials for their Women’s Football Team on the 25th of February at Goan’s Sports Ground in Churchgate. Kenkre FC have long been regarded…


IKF to dispense free international football exposure for children in India

India Khelo Football (IKF) is a non-profit platform aimed at providing kids from India a fair chance to pursue their dream of playing football internationally. IKF shares its vision to…


IDBI Bank to hold trials for a central defender

After successfully conducting their first round of trials on 21st November, MDFA Super Division outfit are now looking to conduct another trial in search of Central Defenders. With football resuming,…


Chedda Nagar FC set to conduct trials for MDFA Super Division

Chedda Nagar Football Fanatics will be conducting trials to reform their MDFA Super Division squad. Being established in 2011, Chedda Nagar is a renowned name in Mumbai football. The team…


IDBI Bank to host trials for MDFA Super Division

With football resuming, IDBI Bank will be conducting trials for the upcoming MDFA Season. The team will participate in the Super Division and will be seen conducting their first round…


Madanpura FA, Sara FA to host trials for the upcoming MDFA season

Sara Football Academy and Madanpura FA to host trials for MDFA Super division & 2nd division and 3rd division respectively on the 19th and 21st of November simultaneously. Sara FA…


FC Hydra to hold trials for women footballers in Bengaluru

FC Hydra will be holding trials for women footballers for the upcoming BDFA A division Women’s league. The club is based out of Bengaluru. FC Hydra will be holding trials…


NLWS FC to hold trials for MDFA 3rd division

NLWS FC is club based in Dadar who have registered themselves in the MDFA 3rd division for the 2020-21 season. The club will be holding trials for the same. Mauli…