AFC Cup: What is the road ahead for ATK Mohun Bagan after qualification into knockout stages? ATK Mohun Bagan qualified for the knockout stages of the AFC Cup after a 1-1 draw against Bashundhara Kings. In Group D, ATK Mohun Bagan needed a win or a draw to go through with 2 wins and 1 draw. Bashundhara Kings finished at 2nd with 1 win and 2 draws. With the Maldives mission accomplished, ATK Mohun Bagan will face either FC Nasaf of Uzbekistan or Turkmenistan’s FC Ahal in the Inter-Zone semi-finals on September 22.
AFC Cup: ATK Mohun Bagan to face either Ahal or Nasaf
Finishing at the top of Group D, ATK Mohun Bagan is set to face the winners of Group E- Ahal and winners of Group F- Nasaf.
Turkmenistan’s FC Ahal had 3 opponents in its group – Dordoi Bishkek and Ravshan. They won both of their games to manage a perfect record in their group stage matches. While FC Nasaf of Uzbekistan had 4 opponents in its group- Nasaf, Khujand, Altyn Asyr, and Alay. They also won all their matches, thus, finishing with a perfect record.
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AFC Cup: ATK Mohun Bagan’s tough competition
ATK Mohun Bagan is going to face some tough competition no matter which team it plays in the semi-finals. Ahal finished at the 2nd spot in the Yokary Liga while Nasaf finished at the 5th spot in the Uzbekistan PFL.
It was not easy for ATK Mohun Bagan to go past 10-men Bashundhara Kings but a late equalizer by David Williams sealed the qualification for them. They even survived a few late scares as the 10-men Bashundhara Kings dominated the final few minutes of the 2nd half.
AFC Cup: ATK Mohun Bagan vs Bashundhara Kings- as it happened
In the injury time of the 1st half, Kings’ Sushanto Tripura was involved in a rash challenge and went down injured. The referee took his time and showed him a red card while he was being stretched off the field.
ATK Mohun Bagan missed a golden opportunity to go in front but the chance was missed by Liston Colaco as he failed to put the ball in an empty net after a pass by David Williams. He missed another chance at the 33rd-minute mark when he tried to dink the ball over the goalkeeper but in the end, it turned out to be easy save for him.
The teams went into half-time with the score of 1-0 to Bashundhara Kings. However, in the second half, Bashundhara Kings was down to 10 men and ATK Mohun Bagan started to attack.
David Williams scored an easy tap in with a delightful ball by Liston Colaco to equalize for ATK Mohun Bagan in the 62nd minute to make it ATK Mohun Bagan 1-1 Bashundhara Kings. This meant that ATK Mohun Bagan will go through the knockout stages.