ISL Final: 'India's best' - Fans exulted as ATKMB holds nerves to oust BFC in penalties; lifts maiden title
ISL 2022-23 Final: ATK Mohun Bagan gave a dominant performance to tame Bengaluru FC on penalties and win its maiden ISL title. While it was the third title for the ATK franchise, fans were delighted at Mohun Bagan being India's best again.
It was a top performance from ATK Mohun Bagan (ATKMB) worthy of a final. As it took on former champion Bengaluru FC (BFC) in the 2022-23 Indian Super League (ISL) summit clash at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Margao, Goa, on Saturday, it was settled on penalties after a 2-2 draw, with ATKMB heading past 4-3 and winning its maiden ISL title, besides handing the ATK franchise its third ISL championship, as fans were delighted to be once again calling ATKMB as "India's best".
After getting off to a positive start, ATKMB was given a penalty in the 14th minute when Roy Krishna had a handball decision against him, as Dimitri Petratos successfully converted the spot-kick to hand ATKMB the lead. However, at the stroke of half-time, Subhasish Bose fouled Krishna inside the box to give BFC a penalty this time, which Sunil Chhetri successfully scored to make it 1-1 at the half-time break.
In the following half, Roy Krishna headed in the ball beautifully in a solo effort, as BFC gained the lead with 12 minutes remaining on the clock. However, BFC's defence continued to flounder, as Kiyan Nassiri fouled Pablo Pérez inside the box, resulting in the second ATKMB spot-kick of the night Petratos successfully converted again, as it was 2-2 at the full-time.
While the extra time was played more-or-less in a defensive fashion, it went to a fitting shootout, during which Petratos, Liston Colaço, Kiyan Nassiri and Manvir Singh successfully shot at the target for ATKMB. However, only Alan Costa, Krishna and Chhetri found the back of the net for BFC. In contrast, Bruno Ramires and Pablo Pérez failed, handing ATKMB the title and sending the players, support staff and supporters into a frenzy.