ATK best Chennaiyin in Hero ISL 2019-20 final to clinch record third title

ATK FC became the first team in Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL) history to win the title thrice after overcoming Chennaiyin FC 3-1 in the Hero ISL 2019-20 final played at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Goa on Saturday. It was the Marina Machans who saw more of the ball throughout the tie, but ATK were more clinical in front of goal and a sensational display by goalkeeper Arindam Bhattacharja saw them through.

  • Javier Hernandez gave ATK the lead ten minutes in.
  • Edu Garcia made it 2-0 for ATK in the 48th minute.
  • In the 69th minute, Nerijus Valskis scored for Chennaiyin to make it 2-1.
  • Hernandez scored his second of the night in added time to cap off a 3-1 win and the title.

Chennaiyin were on the front foot from the first whistle and put the ATK defence under serious pressure early on. Nerijus Valskis almost gave his team the lead in the third minute as he created space for a shot inside the box and had ATK goalkeeper Arindam Bhattacharja beat with a thumping effort. Unfortunately for Owen Coyle’s side, the ball came out after hitting the underside of the crossbar.

After surviving the early scare, ATK started to create a few chances of their own and Michael Soosairaj came close with a long ranger which narrowly missed the far post. In the 10th minute, it was the red and whites who took the lead, perhaps against the tide of the game. Roy Krishna was set free down the left wing and the Fijian fizzed in a cross from out wide. Javier Hernandez found himself on the end of Krishna’s cross and volleyed past Vishal Kaith to make it 1-0.

ATK could have extended their advantage midway through the first half after Krishna drove into the box from the left. The Fijian’s initial shot was blocked off by Kaith but the rebound fell for Javier, who had two cracks at the Chennaiyin goal back to back. His first attempt was cleared off the line by Laldinliana Renthlei while his follow up was kept out by Lucian Goian.

At the other end, Valskis had a couple of shots on target within a short span of time but Arindam did enough to thwart the Lithuanian on both occasions. Around the 30-minute mark, the ATK custodian pulled off a brilliant save to keep out Andre Schembri’s header. With just over five minutes to go for half time, ATK were dealt a big blow as Krishna had to come off due to an injury. Armando Sosa Pena replaced the ace striker.

Despite Chennaiyin’s best efforts to draw level before the half time whistle, the first half ended with ATK 1-0 up.

Chennaiyin started the second half brightly but following the narrative of the first half, it was ATK who struck the back of the net against the run of play. A quick counter attack culminated in David Williams freeing up Edu Garcia for a shot. The Spaniard made no mistakes as he placed his effort past a diving Kaith to make it 2-0 in the 48th minute.

With the onus on the Marina Machans to script a comeback, Coyle’s men began crowding the ATK box, while Habas’ men were content defending in numbers and looking for the odd opportunities to launch counter attacks. Chennaiyin’s sustained spell of pressure finally bore fruit in the 69th minute as Valskis fired home to make the scoreline 2-1. The Lithuanian could have made it all square seconds later but this time, Arindam was up to the task and kept his team’s narrow lead intact.

ATK had a big chance around the 75th minute after Soosairaj danced down the byline and cut the ball back for Mandi. The Spaniard, however, skied his shot. In the 80th minute, Garcia was sent through on goal by a long pass but the Chennaiyin custodian rushed out just in time to deny the Spaniard another crack at goal.

Despite ATK’s periodic raids, it was Chennaiyin who were bossing the proceedings and it needed some brilliant goalkeeping by Arindam and a resolute defensive display by the ATK defenders to keep them at bay. Having endured the Chennaiyin pressure, Hernandez wrapped up the game and the trophy with ATK’s third in added time.

Hero of the Match – Arindam Bhattacharja

Having looked a little rocky in his last few outings, ATK custodian Arindam Bhattacharja chose the biggest stage of them all to prove his worth in emphatic fashion. The 30-year-old made five monumental saves in the final to see off waves after waves of Chennaiyin pressure in the title decider and staked his claim on the Hero of the Match award.

MATCH AWARDS:

Club Award – ATK FC

Maruti Suzuki Limitless Player of the Match – Javier Hernandez

DHL Winning Pass of the Match – Pronay Halder

ISL Emerging Player of the Match – Sumit Rathi

Hero of the Match – Arindam Bhattacharja

SEASON AWARDS

DHL Winning Pass of the League – Hugo Boumous, FC Goa

Golden Glove – Gurpreet Singh Sandhu, Bengaluru FC

Maruti Suzuki Golden Boot – Nerijus Valskis, Chennaiyin FC

ISL Emerging Player of the League – Sumit Rathi, ATK FC

Hero of the League – Hugo Boumous, FC Goa

Watch the Match Highlights here:

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