Who said what after ATK Mohun Bagan’s resounding entry into AFC Cup inter-zone semi-final
2020-21 Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL) finalists ATK Mohun Bagan qualified for the AFC Cup inter-zone semi-final after a 1-1 draw against 2021 Bangladesh Premier League champions Bashundhara Kings in their Group D South Zone encounter at the National Football Stadium in Male (Maldives) on Tuesday. David Williams’ strike in the 62nd minute got them the all-important equaliser. They will now play the winners of Wednesday’s Central Zone final between FC Nasaf and Ahal FC. The inter-zone semi-final tie is scheduled for next month. The news of the Mariners advancing to the next round has been celebrated nationwide, not just by the club supporters alone. Let’s see who said what – both on and off the field -- after another important day in Indian club football.
“Very pleased with ATK Mohun Bagan’s performance in the AFC Cup. Delighted that they have qualified for the knockout stage. A big thank you to all the players, the coach, everyone did a phenomenal job under difficult circumstances. A big thank you to all the fans for their unstinted support,” said Sanjiv Goenka, Principal Owner at ATK Mohun Bagan.
“I’m very proud of my players because the opponent is a good team. We were superior in the match throughout the 90 minutes, plus they also had one player less,” said ATK Mohun Bagan head coach Antonio Lopez Habas after the match.
“Praise for them, they are a big club and what they have achieved is big because of playing every 72 hours with three weeks’ preparation,” said Bashundhara Kings head coach Oscar Bruzon after the match.
“It wasn’t an easy match but I’m so happy that we’ve qualified for the inter-zonal semi-final next month. I’m proud of the lads for fighting against the odds and we hope to keep this fighting spirit and give our all for the next match. Thank you all for your love & blessings,” Roy Krishna, who scored in the first two matches for the Mariners, wrote on Twitter.
“Earned our position at the AFC inter-zonal semi-final. Proud of our team for fighting so hard with that ‘never give-up’ spirit,” Manvir Singh, who scored in the 3-1 win against Maldivian side Maziya Sports & Recreation, wrote on Twitter.
“I know I could have done better but there is always a chance to learn and improve. Happy to have earned our position at the AFC inter-zone semi-final,” Liston Colaco, who also scored against Maziya, wrote on Twitter.
“We maintain our unbeaten record in the group stage and qualify for the knockouts! Ready for the next challenge,” wrote ATK Mohun Bagan goalkeeper Amrinder Singh on Twitter.