ATK beat Chennaiyin FC 2-1 in a fifth-round Indian Super League (ISL) clash on Friday at the Yuba Bharati Krirangan, Kolkata.
Chennaiyin FC yet to win after five matches. Kalu Uche (3’) John Johnson (13′) were on target to confirm crucial three points for the Kolkata side. Carlos Salom (17’) scored the consolation goal for the Super Machans.
Steve Coppell sent back El Maimouni to the bench after Kalu Uche recovered from the hamstring injury before the away match against Jamshedpur. This was the only change Steve considered for the crucial match against the defending champions.
After fielding a 1-1 draw against the Delhi Dynamos, John Gregory kept an unchanged line up.
Kalu Uche slotted the ball from Gerson Viera’s header which was a half-hearted kick from Karanjit Singh early in the 3rd minute. Later Karanjit did a great job when Kalu took a second attempt to slot the ball through Manuel Lanzarote’s curling low ball.
ATK doubled their score on the 13th minute through John Johnson’s header from the free kick by Lanzarote.
Chennaiyin made a strong comeback soon after in the 17th minute. Francis Fernandes dribbled past Ricky Lallawmawma on the right flank and curled a cross inside the box which was headed in by Palestinian international Carlos Salom.
ATK retained the slender margin throughout after the 45 minutes. Chennaiyin looked hungry for an equaliser which could have been fed by Carlos Salom in the 56th minute as he took Jhon Jhonson’s sloppy defending.
ATK had a chance to increase their goal as Jayesh Rane, in the dying minutes went past two Chennaiyin defenders as he entered the penalty box from the right side and squared the ball to Kalu Uche. Uche tried to lob the ball but it went above the crossbar.
With seven points from five matches, Steve Coppell’s team move upto the fourth in the table. Whereas, Chennaiyin FC will still be concerned about earning more points from the rest of the matches. The machans go back to host Mumbai City FC. ATK will be ready to face off Bengaluru FC after four days again in their home ground.