FULL-TIME: ATK FC 3-1 Chennaiyin FC
[10′ 90′ Javi Hernandez, 48′ Edu Garcia – 69′ Nerijus Valskis]
Last night’s final was played behind closed doors as part of preventive measures taken against the coronavirus pandemic.
The match kicked off with Chennaiyin FC in the ascendancy early on. This would be the feature for most of the game – Chennai dominated possession and created chances, but could not put the ball past the goal line when it mattered. The Golden Boot winner Nerijus Valskis had a chance early in the game to take the lead from point blank range, but the Lithuanian took a touch too many and ended up hitting the bar.
In the 10th minute against the run of play, a simple ball over the top on the left flank found Roy Krishna. Roy pulled the ball back into the box and set up an incoming and unmarked Javi Hernandez who struck the rising ball into the ground and past the keeper. It was 1-0 to the Kolkata side and they would keep the lead going into the half-time break. The match still felt like it was on even keel with the league’s joint top scorer Roy Krishna stretchered off after picking up a niggle.
Early in the second half, some slick transitional play from the back of the field to the front saw ATK double their lead. Edu Garcia received the ball in midfield and flicked the ball into David Williams who out-maneuvered Chennaiyin defender Mailson Alves like he wasn’t there. Williams then went on to the feed the ball into Edu Garcia who made a run from the left into the box. The Spaniard applied the finish and the ball went in off the far post into the net. 2-0 ATK and the third title was in sight.
Valskis pulled a goal back for Chennai in the 69th minute after he latched onto a loose ball/pass in the box. For a brief period CFC had a glimmer of hope, but the ATK custodian Arindam Bhattacharya who had an excellent game behind the sticks kept everything at bay.
In the 90th minute, ATK would find a third goal to wrap up the title after Javi Hernandez deceived the keeper and passed the ball into an empty net to score his second of the night. Remarkably Javier Hernandez scored two goals this season and both came in the final!
On a side note, the Michael brothers, Soosairaj and Regin both started last night’s game and ended up with winners’ medals.
The homecoming also proved sweet for the ATK coach Antonio López Habas who wrapped up his second ISL title after helping ATK to the first in 2014.
ATK has people that love me, like I love ATK. I have a special connect with ATK since the first season and it continues. We are a family. This is amazing. This is the secret.
This title is more important than first, but the first was also important because it was the first title.Antonio López Habas, Head Coach, ATK FC.
Winning Pass of the League (Most Assists) – Hugo Boumous, 11, FC Goa.
Golden Glove – Gurpreet Singh Sandhu, 2nd Golden Glove in a row, Bengaluru FC.
Golden Boot – Nerijus Valskis, 15 Goals, Chennaiyin FC.
ISL Emerging Player of the League – Sumit Rathi, 18 year old fullback, ATK FC.
Hero of the League – Hugo Boumous, 15 Matches, 10 Goals, 11 Assists, FC Goa.