Hyderabad FC set foot in what would be their first final appearance after scripting a come-from-behind 3-1 win over ATK Mohun Bagan in the first leg of the Indian Super League second semi-final in Bambolim on Saturday. Roy Krishna helped ATKMB lead but the Kolkata side’s joy was short lived as Bartholomew Ogbeche (45th) equalized just before half time before Yasir Mohammad (58th) and Javier Siviero (64th) sealed Hyderabad’s win . The two teams will face each other again on Wednesday for the second leg, with ATKMB having to find the back of the net at least twice to stand a chance of advancing to their second consecutive summit clash.
ATKMB seemed to be the better side in the opening exchanges. Hyderabad missed Asish Rai and his absence was felt most when they fell behind early in the game.
Liston Colaco came to prominence again and caused more than a few problems for Nim Dorjee Tamang who was eventually sold to the deception of the former Hyderabad winger when he forced him inside out to cross in front of Krishna who came for his marker and to stabbed home.
Akash Mishra was to blame for not marking Krishna properly, but Nim Dorjee was never the size of Colaco in first place, with the swift-footed winger bursting forward after receiving the ball, outsmarting Nim Dorjee to make a to get a nice pass.
Hyderabad saw more of the ball, but it didn’t pay off as ATKMB sank deep when needed to starve players like Javier Siviero and Ogbeche from the center of the park or the full defenders.
It was after the cool-down break that Ogbeche, who couldn’t get enough balls, took it upon himself and dribbled past a pair of green and maroon shirts that showed amazing skills but ultimately failed to get the most out of them.
Ogbeche’s zeal was not in vain, however, as he found the back of the net just before the halftime signal. It was a record-breaking goal, the Nigerian equaling the record for most goals in a single season after Juanan swallowed the ball and nodded home from close range.
Yasir Mohammad’s corner was not made up for by ATKMB defenders and the ball fell to Juanan who saw Ogbeche in the right place at the right time. Sandesh Jhingan shook his head, knowing he could have done better as Ogbeche beat him in front of goal as both teams headed back into the tunnel at 1-1.
The second half was for Hyderabad, who scored two goals within six minutes to make a comeback after a disappointing first 45 minutes.
It was a double blow for ATKMB as it was not only Yasir Mohammad who scored a goal after Jhingan and Tiri collided in an attempt to clear the ball from the penalty area. Yasir hit home from outside the penalty area, but Tiri had to be taken off on a stretcher. Minutes later, Siviero headed in from a corner to make it 3-1.
Ogbeche was all over the second period for Manolo Marquez’s side, his kicks helping Yasir Mohammad into the goal. On the other side, Joni Kauko fired a volley next to a cut from Hugo Boumous from the byline.
In the closing minutes, ATKMB looked desperately for a goal to narrow the margin, with substitute Kiyan Nassiri coming closest when he found the post from close range.
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