ISL IX final: Keeper stars as ATK Mohun Bagan lift trophy
ATK Mohun Bagan held their nerve in a tightly contested ISL IX final as they beat Bengaluru FC 4-3 on penalties to lift the title at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Fatorda, Goa, on Saturday.
And then came the announcement many Mohun Bagan fans wanted to hear. A beaming Sanjiv Goenka, the owner, said from next season onwards it will be Mohun Bagan Super Giants and not ATK Mohun Bagan.
“We are removing ATK, it will be Mohun Bagan Super Giants from next season. It was in our plans for some time, we were waiting for the right time,” Goenka told the official broadcaster after the match.
In a game that ended 2-2 in regulation time, Bagan’s Dimitri Petratos scored all three penalties he took on the night before Vishal Kaith’s save from Bruno Ramires’ penalty in the shootout brought them one step closer.
Bengaluru FC’s Pablo Perez then sent his spot-kick over the bar as the Mariners sealed the result in a game they controlled right from the start.
Bengaluru FC were forced into bringing Sunil Chhetri on early after Sivasakthi Narayanan was stretchered off in the opening seconds of the match.
Things went further away from plan in the 13th minute when Roy Krishna handled the ball from a Petratos corner and Bagan were awarded a penalty.
Petratos finished the job from the spot to put his team in front. But in the final minute of first-half stoppage time, they were given a way back when Subhasis Bose missed the ball and made contact with Krishna. Chhetri stepped up and sent Kaith the wrong way to restore parity.
In the final quarter of the game, Rohit Kumar’s shot from the edge of the box created a series of corners, before a deflection found Krishna at the far post — the striker nodded it home in the 78th minute.
But five minutes from time, the game was all square again. At the edge of the Bengaluru box, Kiyan Nassiri was brought down by Perez and Bagan won their second penalty. Petratos was on hand to score again.
“It’s a great feeling,” he said after the match. “Hard work paid off,” said coach Juan Ferrando. “I want to feel this moment,” captain Pritam Kotal could hardly speak in excitement.
Surely Bagan deserve all accolades in a season they were plagued by injuries.