AFC Cup 2021: ATK Mohun Bagan reaches semis following 1-1 draw against Bashundhara Kings
ATK Mohun Bagan has finished at the top of the group with the 1-1 draw against Bashundhara Kings. It would be the first time since 2018 that an Indian side would play the zonal semis.
Indian football giant ATK Mohun Bagan held its nerves to settle for a 1-1 draw against Bangladesh's Bashundhara Kings at the Maldives National Football Stadium in Malé on Tuesday. With this draw, ATKMB has managed to finish atop the table and qualify for the tournament's semis.
The match started on a shaky note for the Indian side, as Jonathan Fernandes put the Bangladeshi outfit ahead in the 28th minute. However, at half-time, Sushanto Tripura was sent off, reducing the Kings to ten men.
In the following half, ATKMB utilised the one-person shortage of the Kings to its full advantage. David Williams scored the equaliser in the 62nd minute to help the Indian outfit finish atop the table with seven points.
Consequently, ATKMB has become the first Indian side since 2018 to play the zonal semis, as it takes on the winner of Nasaf (Uzbekistan) and Ahal (Turkmenistan) on September 22. Following the win, franchise owner Dr Sanjiv Goenka was delighted with the side's phenomenal performance so far and thanked the fans for their undying support.
"Very pleased with ATK Mohun Bagans performance in the AFC Cup. Delighted that we have qualified for the knock out stage. A big thank you to all the players, the coach; everyone did a phenomenal job under difficult circumstances. A big thanks to all the fans for their unstinted support," he said via an ATKMB release.
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