Two-time champions ATK relied on a David Williams brace to script a spectacular turnaround and storm into the final of the Indian Super League over holders Bengaluru FC on Sunday. In the driver's seat after winning the first leg 1-0, Bengaluru FC struck in the fifth minute for a vital away goal advantage through Ashique Kuruniyan, his first of the season, from a counter-attack. Up 2-0 on aggregate, Bengaluru had one foot in their third consecutive ISL final. But ATK produced a stunning recovery in front of a 50,000-plus crowd, which included many Mohun Bagan members, who were given complimentary tickets. Mohun Bagan and ATK have merged for the next season. Captain Roy Krishna (30th) brought ATK back into the game before Williams' 63rd minute penalty made it 2-2 on aggregate. Williams then struck a brilliant header in the 79th minute to seal the issue 3-1 in the second leg with local lad Prabir Das setting it up. MATCH REPORT
79' - GOAL! What a header from David Williams! ATK are in the lead on aggregate as well. Prabir Das with the cross.
How did he do that? The power and the accuracy as well on that header. And what an inch-perfect cross from the ATK right back.
The home side is going through as things stand.
Will Bengaluru be able to come back in the game and the tie?
ATK 3-1 BENGALURU FC (3-2)
As cool as you like from David!
63'— ATK (@ATKFC) March 8, 2020
GOAAAAALLLLL!!!!!!@willo_15 being trapped down by Suresh inside the box, @RoyKrishna21 gives the ball to @willo_15 to hit it.
And @willo_15 converts it from the spot.#ATK 2-1 #BFC#ATKBFC#AamarBukeyATK#BanglaBrigade pic.twitter.com/7k5gPGrOEu
59' - Substitution!
The away team are the first to make a change as Kevaughn Frater comes on in place of Deshorn Brown for Bengaluru FC.
HALF-TIME! After three minutes of added time, the half time whistle is blown. Roy Krishna equalised from ATK after Ashique Kuruniyan's opener for Benglauru, who still lead on aggregate!
The next goal might just decide the game.
37' - Edu Garcia passes the ball to Javier Hernandez on the edge of the box but his shot flies over the bar. ATK have looked positive, despie going down nearly in the match. Bengaluru, on the other hand, are happy to sit back and hit their opponent on the counter. Will it work?
A minute later Javier Hernandez receives a yellow card.
24' - The big man standing tall (diving to his right actually) and stops the shot from David Williams with both hands. ATK might just need something special to beat this keeper!
Roy Krishna will have something to say about that in the course of the game.
Moments ago, Erik Paartalu had poked the ball in the back of the net only for the referee to blow for off-side...
5' - GOAL! Ashique Kuruniyan scores his first goal of the season to give Bengaluru FC the lead!
Francisco Borges intercepted the ball in midfield and played Ashique in behind. Ashique with his pace and skill skipped away from a sliding challenge from Sumit Rathi. Ashique, with only Arindam Bhattacharja to beat, keep his cool and slots the ball in the back of the net.
ATK 0-1 BENGALURU FC (0-2)
5' GOOAALL!! That didn't take long! Nili picks up a loose ball down the left and curls one into the path of Ashique, who takes a touch, rides the challenge from Rathi and slots in at the near post past Arindam. 1-0. (2-0 agg.) #ATKBFC pic.twitter.com/F5hVcQ4YRJ— Bengaluru FC (@bengalurufc) March 8, 2020
ATK Starting XI - Arindam Bhattacharja (GK), Sumit Rathi, John Johnson, Pritam Kotal, Prabir Das, egin Michael, Javier Hernandez, David Williams, Michael Soosairaj, Edu Garcia, Roy Krishna (C).
Bench - Armando Sosa Pena, Pronay Halder, Dheeraj Singh, Balwant Singh, Jayesh Rane, Jobby Justin, Victor Mongil.
Bengaluru FC Starting XI - Gurpreet Singh Sandhu (GK), Rahul Bheke, Juanan, Harmanjot Khabra, Francisco Borges, Erik Paartalu, Dimas Delgado, Suresh Wangjam, Ashique Kuruniyan, Sunil Chhetri (C), Deshorn Brown.
Bench - Kean Lewis, Udanta Singh, Prabhsukhan Singh Gill, Kevaughn Frater, Leon Augustin, Gursimrat Singh Gill, Rino Anto.
TEAM NEWS! Starts for @Ashique_22 and @nili_lp7 at the YBK tonight. Here's how the boss lines up his men for the @IndSuperLeague semifinal second leg clash against ATK. #ATKBFC pic.twitter.com/OxxiOI2een— Bengaluru FC (@bengalurufc) March 8, 2020
Semi-final 2nd leg - ATK vs Bengaluru FC! ATK FC host Bengaluru FC at Kolkata's iconic Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan in the second leg of their Indian Super League semi-final clash. ATK lost the first leg 1-0 in Bengaluru and will be counting on their home advantage to overturn the deficit and make it to the final. Bengaluru, on the other hand, will be aiming to see off ATK's challenge to make their third consecutive final appearance.
ATK vs Bengaluru FC (Photo Credit: ISL/News18)
Das was exceptional in the midfield and had set up the first goal as well.
Bengaluru FC, however, started the match on a rousing note.
It was their latest recruit Francisco Borges Nili who started the move in the midfield and played a wonderful outside-of-the-foot pass for Kuruniyan breaking down the right.
Kuruniyan showed brilliant control and skipped away from the challenge of Sumit Rathi for a one-on-one against Arindam Bhattacharja before sliding past the ATK custodian, which brought the crowd to a standstill.
Under pressure, ATK goalkeeper Bhattacharya pulled off a stunning save in the 17th minute as Bengaluru FC pressed hard with back-to-back attacks. In the second attack, Kuruniyan's left footer missed the target narrowly as ATK survived.
In the 23rd minute, ATK launched a fine attack but the India goalkeeper Gurpreet Singh Sandhu kept Williams at bay, diving low to his left.
Finally, ATK brought on the equaliser with Roy Krishna doing the rescue act.
A cross-field ball was played towards the right where Prabir Das delightfully played a one-two with Williams to get on into the final third on the right flank.
Against the run of play, ATK was awarded a penalty when Williams was brought down by Suresh Singh Wangjam in the box.
Williams calmly slotted the ball home, sending Gurpreet the wrong way.
Four minutes later, Das and Williams combined once again to put ATK ahead on aggregate.
Jayesh Rane sent Das to the byline down the right-wing and his cross was headed in by Williams, beating Gurpreet all ends up.
Carles Cuadrat introduced Leon Augustine for Pedromo as they looked to stage a comeback. However, the visitors were stopped by a resolute ATK defence.
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