Need to beat Hyderabad FC to end season on a high: ATK Mohun Bagan's Dimitri Petratos
ATK Mohun Bagan forward Dimitri Petratos is ready to go all guns blazing as they take on Hyderabad FC in the Hero Club Playoffs for a spot in the AFC Cup 2023-24 Preliminary round at the EMS Corporation Stadium in Kozhikode, Kerala on Wednesday.
After a disappointing campaign in the Hero Super Cup, the Hero ISL Champions have now shifted their focus to the qualifying playoffs, as they aim to secure a place in Asian football for the third year running.
The Kolkata-based club have failed to progress beyond the Inter-zone playoff semi-finals stage in their two previous attempts. Petratos, who is having a fantastic season with the Mariners, affirms that the team aims to progress further this time.
“This AFC Cup playoff is very important to us. We don’t want to halt after winning the Hero ISL. Last year we made it to the Inter-zonal semi-final. This time our target is to go further. If we are able to do well at the continental level, it will enrich the club’s name and fame,” Petratos told Khel Now in an interview.
ATK Mohun Bagan and Hyderabad FC have played each other four times this season, with each team winning one match. The other two matches, which were in the semi-final, ended in draws before the Mariners emerged victorious in the penalty shootout.
The 2022-23 season will come to an end with this game, and Petratos wants to end the season on a brighter note with a win against the Yellow and Black.
“We have to defeat Hyderabad FC. This is the last game of the season. If we want to start the upcoming season on a high, winning this game is very important,” he said.
Hyderabad FC have played some brilliant brand of football under Manolo Marquez and have been one of the most consistent teams in recent years. The 30-year-old acknowledges the strength of the opponent but insists they are also determined to come out on top this time.
“Hyderabad FC are a tough opponent. They ended second in the league. We have both the experiences of losing and defeating them. We want to settle the scores in our favour this time,” added Petratos.
The ATKMB talisman is excited to step onto the field on Wednesday and hopes to deliver a victorious performance that will leave him satisfied as he returns for the holiday.
“I am fully ready to win the game. I want to go back to my country (for a holiday) with a successful outing,” Petratos expressed.