Super subs help ATK salvage late draw against Bengaluru

Second half substitutes Edu Garcia and Michael Soosairaj scored two late goals to help ATK FC hold Bengaluru FC to a 2-2 draw in Match 88 of the Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL) 2019-20 at the Sree Kanteerava Stadium in Bengaluru on Saturday. The visitors conceded twice in the first half but clawed their way back with two goals of their own after the 85th minute. The result keeps the third spot in the table open, handing Chennaiyin FC an opportunity to leapfrog Bengaluru, should they win their final match against NorthEast United FC.

  • Dimas Delgado gave Bengaluru the lead in the 18th minute from a free kick.
  • Kevaughn Frater made it 2-0 for the Blues in the 35th minute.
  • Edu Garcia pulled a goal back for ATK in the 86th minute.
  • Michael Soosairaj’s deflected shot crept inside the Bengaluru goal in the 90th minute as ATK drew level.

The home team threatened to take an early lead in the fourth minute as Parag Srivas’ long throw in eluded the crowd inside the ATK box and dropped for Semboi Haokip at the far post. The striker needed to finish from a tight angle and couldn’t wrap his foot around the ball enough to get it on the right side of the post.

ATK’s first meaningful chance of the game came five minutes later as Roy Krishna found himself onside but like, Haokip, had a tight angle to work with. The Fijian did worry Bengaluru goalkeeper Prabhsukhan Singh Gill with his shot but the youngster made a comfortable save.

Bengaluru broke the deadlock in the 18th minute, with Dimas Delgado firing past ATK custodian Dheeraj Singh from a free kick earned by Srivas on the edge of the ATK box.

The away team tried to respond and won a flurry of corners, albeit without the desired end result. It was the Blues who found the second goal of the night through Kevaughn Frater. Leon Augustin beat Victor Mongil in a footrace down the flank and found Frater with a cut back. The Jamaican rifled it home to make it 2-0 in the 35th minute. The two teams headed in for the break with the home team two goals ahead.

ATK head coach Antonio Lopez Habas made a double substitution during the break, bringing on Edu Garcia and Michael Soosairaj to replace Pronay Halder and Sumit Rathi respectively. Garcia looked lively post his introduction and tested Prabhsukhan from distance three minutes after the restart.

Frater could have scored his second of the night around the hour mark as he closed down Dheeraj and managed to block his clearance. Fortunately for ATK, the ball went up and over the crossbar. Despite the away team showing a lot of intent, the Blues kept it tight at the back and continued to launch a few counter attacks of their own, keeping the ATK defence on their toes.

A late surge, however, saw ATK pull a goal back in the 86th minute through Garcia, who put the finishing touch to a lovely passing move he himself had initiated. Seconds before the regulation 90 minutes, Garcia was involved yet again as his pass created space for Michael Soosairaj inside the Blues’ box. The winger’s shot took a wicked deflection and looped over the Bengaluru custodian into the net as ATK completed an unlikely comeback to end the match at 2-2.

Hero of the Match – Edu Garcia

Coming on as a substitute with his team trailing by two goals, Edu Garcia injected a sense of purpose in the ATK team and was finally rewarded for his hard work with a late goal. Minutes later, he popped up yet again to set up the equalizer for Michael Soosairaj, thereby earning ATK a point. He was named the Hero of the Match for his pivotal impact on the match.

AWARDS

Club Award – Bengaluru FC and ATK FC

Maruti Suzuki Limitless Player of the Match – Michael Soosairaj

DHL Winning Pass of the Match – Edu Garcia

ISL Emerging Player of the Match – Leon Augustin

Hero of the Match – Edu Garcia

Watch the match highlights here:

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