Habas: Pleased with the way my players fought right till the end
ATK and Mumbai City FC played out a 2-2 draw to share the points after what turned out to be a rollercoaster of a match in Kolkata. ATK took the lead through Michael Soosairaj in the first-half only to see Mumbai City equalise in the second-half through Pratik Chaudhari. Substitute Serge Kevyn scored deep in added time to put the Islanders in front but a Roy Krishna strike in the dying seconds rescued a point for ATK. It was the first time ATK has failed to register maximum points at home in Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL) this season.
At the post-match press conference, ATK head coach Antonio Lopez Habas said, “When it’s a draw, I am not happy. But I am happy with the commitment of the team. We fought right till the end and reacted well to get the draw.”
“I think it was a very competitive match. There were a lot of contacts and fouls. It was not possible to build up a rhythm. We have to evaluate ourselves, the result doesn’t make us happy,” he added.
Agustin Iniguez has been a regular fixture in ATK’s starting XI but started from the bench on the night. Explaining the reason behind it, Habas informed, “Agustin started from the bench because he had an illness during the week and lost four kilograms. One option was to use Carl McHugh at the back. Agustin is a very important player for us,”
Asked to analyse Edu Garcia’s performance on the night and whether it was enough to warrant him a starting place in his team in the future, Habas opined, “Very good performance. We know he is a very good player. We have seven foreigners and will rotate them in the season. My choice will depend on the characteristic of the match.”
Mumbai had a lot of joy out wide as they constantly threatened ATK with crosses inside the box. Commenting on whether the development was of concern to him, the Spaniard noted, “Our fullbacks have to attack and defend. We were playing against an opponent with good strikers and wingers. It’s normal.
Read the match report here.