Atletico de Kolkata’s defence of the Indian Super League title is in serious threat as they suffered a 3-0 loss at the hands of Chennaiyin FC in the first leg of the semifinal at the Balewadi Sports Complex in Pune. Antonia Habas admitted Chennayin were the better team on the night, but believes his side still hold a chance at the Salt Lake Stadium.
It was a cagey affair for majority of the match, with neither side willing to push men forward to attack. As Atletico were playing the first leg away from home, they came out and tried to contain, rather than take the game to the opposition. However, their live-to-fight-another-day philosophy didn’t work, as Chennaiyin take a 3-0 scoreline to defend in Kolkata.
Chennaiyin the superior team
The game was pretty evenly matched in possession until Chennaiyin earned themselves a 2-0 lead, but the home side created more chances and as Antonio Habas admitted, the team from Chennai was clearly the better team.
“I want to congratulate Chennaiyin because they played better than us, and they were more hungry. Maybe the referee was a bit in their favour in the first thirty minutes, but Chennayin were better and looked more hungry all the time.”
Atletico still in the tie
While a 3-0 scoreline might seem impossible to overcome, Antonio Habas believes his side still have a chance of making it to the final.
“Chennayin scored three goals here at their home, maybe we can score three goals at our home. We’ll see.”
Anything can happen in second leg
The reigning champions Atletico de Kolkata have a mountain to climb if they have to give themselves a chance to retain the title. But as it stands, Chennayin are much better poised, in terms of result and confidence. Atletico have to score atleast thrice in the second leg, and that could leave them exposed at the back as they go for the jugular. And with the likes of Mendoza, Jeje and Elano in red hot form, any little error by Kolkata will be pounced upon.
The second leg on the 16th of this month at the Salt Lake Stadium in Kolkata promises to be a goal fest.
. Image Courtesy: ISL Media