Despite the negative impact from the Coronavirus pandemic, the Indian Super League saw its final match today in Margao, Goa. In a behind closed doors match, ATK took on Chennaiyin FC without the presence of the supporters in the stands. However the fans that were glued to their TV screens had a grand moment to cherish as the Kolkata-based club created history, winning the ISL title for the third time, beating their opposition 3-1 at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium.
Following a four year gap, ATK became the crowned champions of the blockbuster Indian football league. The inaugural title winners in 2014, clinched their last trophy all the way back in 2016. However, a dominating performance from the team, in addition to a brace from Javi Hernández secured them the trophy over Chennaiyin FC.
The Spanish midfielder opened up the scoreline in the 10th minute, coming from an astounding cross from ATK skipper and superstar forward Roy Krishna. Hernandez, without a Chennaiyin defender marking him in the box, delivered a calculated volley into the net, putting them on the lead.
Although the rest of the first half went goal less, just three minutes into the second half and ATK was put on a 2-0 lead, thanks to a superb strike from attacking midfielder Edu García. The Spaniard received a through ball from Williams, and put it straight past Chennaiyin FC goal keeper Vishal Kaith in the 48th minute.
Chennaiyin, looking to secure their 3rd torphy after their second triumph in 2018, found the back of the net in the 69th minute. The club;s Lithuanian hit man Nerijus Valskis received a precious assist from Jerry Lalrinzuala, and powered it into ATK’s net.
However, the 2 times champions had to be satisfied with only a single consolation goal, as ATK made it 3-1 with a second strike from Javi. In the 3rd minute of the injury time, the 30 year old veteran scored the final goal of the match, making good use of a volley from ATK substitute Pronay Halder.
“It’s (this title win) different because in the first season the ISL was not so competitive. Now it is more professional with better coaches and players, more time to the competition,” ATK manager Antonio López Habas said in the post match interview.
“I have to congratulate the players for their fantastic work throughout the season. We had a few problems with injuries with Carl McHugh and then Agus and Roy in the final today but the strength of the team was the collective,” the Spanish gaffer added.