INDIAN FOOTBALL

ATK Mohun Bagan defeats Hyderabad FC on penalties to secure an AFC Cup place in the Hero Club Playoffs

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ATK Mohun Bagan defeated Hyderabad FC on penalties 3-1 in the Hero Club Playoffs. It was on Wednesday at the EMS Corporation Stadium in Kozhikode, Kerala. To secure a place in the preliminary round of the AFC Cup 2023-24.

Dimi Petratos and Joel Chianese scored for ATK Mohun Bagan and Hyderabad FC, respectively, before the game went to penalties. Joao Victor was the only player to score for Hyderabad. While Petratos, Liston Colaco, and Kiyan Nassiri scored for ATK Mohun Bagan. Meanwhile, Hyderabad FC’s Sahil Tavora, Chianese, and Odei Zabala all missed penalty kicks.

Hyderabad started the faster of the two. Controlling the game and distributing the ball with the speed in midfield. With Mohammed Yasir and Joao Victor the architects of everything good for them.

ATK Mohun Bagan, on the other hand, is infamous for punishing even the smallest of errors. As seen by their opening goal, which came rather against the run of play. Hugo Boumous dribbled into the area from the right before cutting the ball back to Dimi Petratos on the top of the six-yard box. He hammered it into the roof of the net to put ATK Mohun Bagan ahead.

To their credit, Hyderabad did not let their heads down and, in fact, took greater possession of the ball, continuously swapping flanks and carefully building up play. A slew of chances fell their way as well, the greatest of which came from Akash Mishra, who accomplished precisely what Boumous had done from ATKMB’s right side. Borja’s finish, on the other hand, was lacklustre.

It arrived in much the same manner, two minutes before halftime. Borja switched roles this time, cutting the ball back from the byline for Chianese to finish.

ATK Mohun Bagan makes lot attempts to goal

Chances were few and far between in a second half played entirely to the melodies of Hyderabad FC, with the best of the bunch coming to Chianese in injury time. This time, the Australian blasted wide from six yards, when getting it in the goal may have been easier.

At the final whistle, tempers flared due to the tense finish and some tough and close refereeing calls. Manolo Marquez, the head coach of Hyderabad FC, was finally shown a red card and sent to the stands.

In extra time, both teams were cautious, the fear of making a mistake outweighing the need to find a winner. Hyderabad wasted many half-chances in both phases of extra time, but the biggest opportunity went to Liston Colaco with minutes remaining. Colaco surged into the box after being set up by a beautiful through pass from midfield, with just custodian Anuj Kumar to beat. He extended his body and attempted to chip the custodian, but his shot was blocked by the crossbar.

Both teams scored their first penalties, but Hyderabad FC’s following three shooters all missed the mark. Despite Anuj’s outstanding stop against Carl McHugh, it wasn’t enough. Hyderabad crumbled in anguish, squandering a historic opportunity. The AFC Cup Preliminary Round awaits ATK Mohun Bagan, as has become customary in recent years.

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