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ISL 2021-22: ATK Mohun Bagan Beat Chennaiyin FC, Confirm Semi-final Spot

Roy Krishna scored the all-important goal as ATK Mohun Bagan escaped with a 1-0 win against Chennaiyin FC in their ISL 2021-22.

ATK Mohun Bagan's Roy Krishna, left, in action against Chennaiyin FC during their ISL 2021-22 match.
ATK Mohun Bagan's Roy Krishna, left, in action against Chennaiyin FC during their ISL 2021-22 match. Photo: Indian Super League

In a clash of the two most successful sides in the Indian Super League, three-time champions ATK Mohun Bagan trumped two-time winners Chennaiyin FC 1-0 at PJN Stadium, Fatorda in Goa on Thursday. (More Football News)

Mercurial Roy Krishna's first-half strike in the added time proved the difference between the two sides even as Chennaiyin hit five shots on target, as against ATK Mohun Bagan's three.

The win helped ATK Mohun Bagan move to second place in the ISL table with 37 points from 19 matches. But it was a sad end to Chennaiyin's ISL 2021-22 campaign -- 20 points from 20 matches with five wins and five draws. Bozidar Bandovic's men have conceded 35 goals en route to ten defeats while scoring 17. If FC Goa beat Kerala Blasters on Sunday, Chennaiyin will settle for a ninth-place finish in the 11-team tournament.

Juan Ferrando's ATKMB face leaders Jamshedpur FC next on March 7 to potentially decide the team that will finish at the top of the table and take both the League Winners Shield and an AFC Champions League spot. Jamshedpur however have two games in hand and are at the top with 37 points. They take on Odisha FC on Friday.

Third-placed Hyderabad are the side to have confirmed a top-four finish with 35 points from 19 matches. Kerala Blasters (33 points) and holders Mumbai City (31 points) are still in contention. Mumbai face Hyderabad on Saturday and Kerala take on Goa on Sunday in their respective final league matches.

In Fatorda, Krishna netted his fifth goal of the season and first this calendar year in the 45th minute and that proved to be the difference in the end.

ATKMB dominated the possession from the first minute but failed to convert the chances that came few and far between. Chennaiyin, at the start, looked happy to sit back.

Krishna gave early warnings after a Kauko through ball sent him clear as the veteran Fiji striker, back in the starting XI after an injury layoff, found the post in his way.

There were no clear-cut chances after that early opportunity but the Mariners looked the likelier to score before Chennaiyin started growing into the game and almost keeping ATKMB at bay despite all their adventures in the final third.

But just before halftime, Kauko provided a similar pass for Krishna who, unlike at the start of the game, slammed home past a diving Samik Mitra in Chennaiyin goal.

Chennaiyin started the second half on the front foot and almost got their reward three minutes into the hour-mark when a Reagan Keisham effort deflected off an ATKMB shirt and came off the post.

It was an open half but ATKMB defended well to see off the tie and grab all three points although one would have been enough to seal their semi berth.

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