Familiar foes Hyderabad FC and ATK Mohun Bagan will go head-to-head again this season at the EMS Corporation Stadium in Kozhikode, on Wednesday, with a AFC Cup 2023-24 preliminary round spot in the offing.

This will be the fifth meeting between the two sides this season having faced each other twice during the Hero Indian Super League (ISL) league stage and over two legs in the semi-finals. Just two goals were scored across these four games, highlighting the defensive prowess of both sides.

ATK Mohun Bagan, who endured a third-place finish, finished their campaign on a high by winning the Hero ISL title. Second-placed Hyderabad FC, on the other hand, went down to ATK Mohun Bagan on penalties, missing out on the chance to defend the Hero ISL title.

With both teams set to battle it out in the Hero Club Playoffs on Wednesday, here’s a closer look at how HFC and ATKMB fared against each other during the Hero ISL 2022-23 season.

November 2022, league stage: ATK Mohun Bagan 1-0 Hyderabad FC

An early strike from Hugo Boumous earned ATK Mohun Bagan all three points in Kolkata. ATK Mohun Bagan created many chances throughout the game, but keeper Gurmeet Singh stood in their way. However, the hosts managed to stifle the threat of the Hyderabad FC attack, who managed just one shot on target. It was a hard-fought win for the Mariners, who bounced back after a defeat to FC Goa in their previous game.

February 2022, league stage: Hyderabad FC 1-0 ATK Mohun Bagan

Both sides met again during the business end of the league stage with plenty at stake. A win for Hyderabad FC would confirm their spot in the semi-finals while three points for ATK Mohun Bagan would boost their playoff hopes. However, it was Manolo Marquez’s side that had the last laugh.

Both keepers were kept busy, making crucial saves to keep their respective sides in the game. However, the deadlock was finally breached by Bart Ogbeche, who found the net with a well-taken goal. The victory confirmed a second-place finish for Hyderabad FC.

March 2023, Semi-final first leg: Hyderabad FC 0-0 ATK Mohun Bagan

Hyderabad FC and ATK Mohun Bagan faced each other for a second straight time in the Hero ISL semi-finals. It was a battle between two of the best defences in the league with a lot of hype and excitement preceding the clash. In the end, the backlines of both sides put their A game to the fore as no winner could be decided at the end of 90 minutes.

Multiple chances were created throughout the game. Pritam Kotal and Mohammad Yasir came close with both their attempts rattling the woodwork. However, Hyderabad FC keeper Gurmeet Singh put up a stellar show, racking up seven saves to keep the clean sheet intact for his side.

March 2023, Semi-final second leg: ATK Mohun Bagan 0-0 Hyderabad FC (4-3 on penalties)

Hyderabad FC arrived in Kolkata looking to reach their second successive Hero ISL final while ATK Mohun Bagan were keen to put behind last season’s semi-final exit. With all to play for in the second leg, it was the Mariners who came out on top after a complete team performance.

ATK Mohun Bagan fashioned better opportunities, testing Gurmeet Singh on quite a few occasions. But their backline stood out, restricting Hyderabad FC to just one shot on target during 120 minutes. Finally, it was the time for penalties and the Mariners held their nerves. Vishal Kaith saved Javier Siverio’s attempt before Pritam Kotal scored the winner, sealing ATKMB’s passage to the final. They went on to beat Bengaluru FC on penalties to clinch their first Hero ISL title.