Football

AFC Cup | ATKMB enters knockout semifinals

Man of the moment: David Williams’ equaliser in the 62nd minute helped ATK MB pull off a draw against Bashundhara Kings.  

ATK Mohun Bagan (ATKMB)made it to the inter-zonal semifinals of the AFC Cup as it held its final Group-D opponent Bashundhara Kings of Bangladesh to a 1-1 draw in Male on Tuesday.

Bashundhara Kings took the lead around the half-hour mark through its Brazilian midfielder Jonathan Fernandes. ATK MB equalised just past the hour-mark through Australian forward David Williams.

Sushanto gets red

The Kings were reduced to 10 men in the stoppage time of the first half when right-winger Sushanto Tripura was given a red card.

ATKMB looked disorganised at the start. Needing a win to make it to the next round, the Bangladesh side did well to stick to a pressing game to unsettle the rhythm of the ATK MB, which needed a draw to advance.

Fernandes put Kings in the lead in the 28th minute, firing a sharp grounder from the edge of the box that beat ATKMB goalkeeper Amrinder Singh all ends up.

Faced with the prospect of an imminent exit, ATK MB tried to regroup after conceding the goal.

The equaliser

The equaliser came after change of ends when Kings appeared on the defensive mode. In the 62nd minute Liston Colaco did the hard work on the flanks and set up Williams with a nice cross. The Australian forward had no problem in placing the ball home.

ATKMB will now play the winner of the Central Zone final which is scheduled on Wednesday between Uzbekistan Club FC Nasaf and Turkmenistan club Ahal FC.

The inter-zonal semifinal will be played on September 22 and will be hosted by the winner of the central zone final.

The result: Group-D: ATKMB 1 (David Williams 62) drew with Bashundhara Kings 1 (Jonathan Fernandes 28).


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Printable version | Oct 23, 2021 12:11:09 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/football/atkmb-enters-knockout-semifinals/article36087927.ece

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