Two goals from Javier Hernandez helped ATK to beat the two-time champions Chennaiyin FC 3-1 in the sixth season final of the Hero Indian Super League (ISL) played at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium here on Saturday, winning it for the record third time. ATK has previously been ISL champions in 2014 and 2016.
In view of the increasing threat from the Coronaviruses, the final match played between the closed doors with no spectators, Javier Hernandez scored in the 10th and 93rd and Edu Garcia in the 48th minute for ATK. Nerijus Valskis scored in the 69th minute for Chennaiyin.
The Chennaiyin FC team made some vigorous attacks in the first five minutes but failed to make it. However, after this ATK made a great comeback and took a 1-0 lead in the 10th minute itself. John Johnson gave a long pass to captain Roy Krishna, who went to the Hernandez. Hernandez opened ATK’s account by making it to the goal post from above Chennaiyin goalkeeper Vishal Kaith.
Germanpreet Singh of Chennaiyin was injured in the 20th minute and was replaced by Edwin Venspaul. Three minutes later, ATK missed a back-to-back chance to double their lead while Chennaiyin also missed opening their account in the 27th minute. However, Chennaiyin continued their attack and two minutes later, Valskis made his third shot in the match, but was thwarted by the ATK goalkeeper. Valskis could not open Chennai’s account on a freekick even in the 36th minute.
In the 40th minute, ATK’s top scorer of the season and captain Krishna was injured and he was replaced by Mandi Sosa Pena. Even after this, ATK maintained its lead till half time. ATK doubled its lead by scoring another goal at the beginning of the second half as well as in the first half. The second goal for ATK was scored by Edu Garcia with David Williams in the 48th minute.
Despite trailing 0–2 in the match, Chennaiyin continued their comeback attempts and got success in the same effort. For Chennaiyin, the all important goal was scored by Valskis, their top scorer of the league, in the 69th minute, with winger Lalianzuala Changte. This is Valskis’ 15th goal of the season. Chennai had a chance to tie the score at 2–2 in the next minute, but a shot from Valskis’s header from Eli Sabia went straight into the hands of the ATK goalkeeper.
In the 83rd minute Valskis missed yet again, while five minutes later, Valskis’ teammate Sabia was shown the yellow card. After this, Chennai had to enter injury time, trailing by one goal. ATK scored another goal in the injury time, making it 3-1 in favour of ATK. This goal was scored by Hernandez for ATK, his second goal of the match.
With this ATK has become the first team to win ISL 3rd time while their coach Lopez Habas also became the first coach in ISL history to win the trophy twice, most importantly with the same team.
FEATURED IMAGE COURTESY OF INDIAN SUPER LEAGUE