ISL 2016: Atletico de Kolkata Aiming for a Winning Start in Semifinal First Leg
Being the first team to make the semi-finals in all the three editions, former champions Atletico de Kolkata know a thing or two about achieving success in the Indian Super League as they on Thursday stressed on a winning start in the last-four fixture against Mumbai City FC.
Image credit: Indian Super League.
Kolkata: Being the first team to make the semi-finals in all the three editions, former champions Atletico de Kolkata know a thing or two about achieving success in the Indian Super League as they on Thursday stressed on a winning start in the last-four fixture against Mumbai City FC.
ATK were thrashed 0-3 by Chennaiyin FC last season in the first leg semi-final, something that led to their ouster in 2015.
Having learnt their lessons the hard way, ATK's South African midfielder Sameehg Doutie said they're focussed on a winning start and hoped they would have the advantage to start the semifinal leg at home.
"Everyone is focused to win the game as the first leg is always important. We have to be very careful. We remember what happened to us last year," Doutie told a news conference ahead of the December 10 semi-final.
Table toppers Mumbai City FC, on the other hand, qualified for the semi-finals for the first time in three seasons after they outclassed defending champions Chennaiyin FC 2-0.
"We are ready to give it all. We are playing at home so we must make the most of it," he said.
Their only loss at home this season had come against the same team Mumbai City FC who won via a 79th minute Diego Forlan goal in the league fixture on October 25.
"It's the semi-final stage so it will be a different ball game. We are not underestimating them but this is an entirely different scenario. We know what needs to be done Saturday," the 27-year-old said.
Their record at the adopted Rabindra Sarobar Stadium has been poor with only one win (against Delhi Dynamos FC) from seven matches but Doutie said it did not matter.
"We have depth in the squad which has helped us till here. We believe in ourselves. Despite playing so many draws, we are the only team to have made semifinals in all three editions," Doutie, who will make a comeback after recovering from fever, added.
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