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ATK 3 (3) -1 (2) Bengaluru FC: 5 Talking Points & Tactical Analysis as ATK book final berth | ISL 2019-20

  • Here are 5 talking points to analyse from ATK's brilliant comeback against Bengaluru FC in the second leg of their ISL semi-final!
EXPERT COLUMNIST
Top 5 / Top 10
Modified 08 Mar 2020, 22:28 IST

ATK got the better of Bengaluru FC (Image: ISL)
ATK got the better of Bengaluru FC (Image: ISL)

ATK scraped past Bengaluru FC 3-1 at the Salt Lake Stadium in the second leg of their ISL semi-final. The victory meant that the Kolkata-based outfit outwitted the Blues 3-2 on aggregate and advanced to the final, which is slated to be held on the 14th of March 2020.

The hosts began the game brightly, although they found themselves a goal down in the 5th minute when Ashique Kuruniyan finished off a flowing counter-attacking move.

However, the home side responded 25 minutes later when Roy Krishna got on the end of Prabir Das’ cross to poke ATK level.

After the restart, David Williams bagged a brace by scoring in the 63rd and 79th minute to establish a one-goal lead on aggregate. Thereafter, BFC threw the kitchen sink at the hosts but the visitors were unable to add to their tally.

Here is a look at the talking points from the encounter.


#5 ATK and Bengaluru FC produce a thrilling first half

ATK and BFC produced an entertaining first half (Image: ISL)
ATK and BFC produced an entertaining first half (Image: ISL)

ATK began the encounter facing a one-goal deficit, meaning that they were forced to do the early running. However, against the run of play, the visitors nudged ahead, thereby setting the platform for a see-saw battle in the opening 45 minutes.

Bengaluru FC started with what seemed a 4-3-3 system, with Nili at left back and Ashique playing on the right flank. Consequently, the Indian was accorded tons of space in the attacking third as he capitalized on Michael Soosairaj’s tendency to not track his runners defensively.

Additionally, as soon as the defending champions went a goal up, they switched to three at the back, with Suresh Wangjam deputizing as the right wing-back.

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For a major chunk of the half, the ploy worked as the youngster nullified Soosairaj’s threat, thereby enabling Ashique to wreak havoc on the counter attack.

In reply, ATK started attacking down the other flank with Prabir Das acting as the protagonist of most of their offensive moves. The wing-back combined brilliantly with the likes od David Williams and Krishna and overlapped consistently.

In the process, situations of numerical superiority were created, wherein the Indian then had the time and space to pick out his passes. On one such occasion, the wing-back superbly found Krishna and the Fijian restored parity.

Apart from the tactical battle, there were several openings that were created on the break by the away side as they utilized the pace of Ashique and Deshorn Brown. As for the hosts, they tried to grind down BFC by pinging the ball from side to side, although their best chances came via transition. 

Unsurprisingly, the encounter ebbed and flowed magnificently throughout the first half with neither side really laying a claim to have enjoyed the better of the exchanges.

And, rather fittingly, that enthralling period set the tone for an entertaining finish. 

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Published 08 Mar 2020, 22:28 IST
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