Atletico de Kolkata got their act right in the nick of time to humble crowd favourites FC Goa 4-2 in tie-breaker and advance to the final of the inaugural Indian Super League (ISL) football.
Atletico de Kolkata will lock horns with Kerala Blasters FC in the summit showdown at the D Y Patil Stadium in Mumbai on Saturday.
The second leg semifinal between the two fierce rivals went into extra time after they were locked goal-less in the regulation time. With both teams failing to break the deadlock even in the 30 minutes of extra time, the game was decided via penalty shootout in which the visitors emerged winners.
The first leg semifinal between the two sides in Kolkata had ended in a goal-less stalemate.
Things panned out pretty much in the same manner before the Sourav Ganguly co-owned side edged past the hosts on penalties after playing out yet another drab draw in the 120 minutes of play.
While they failed to score in regulation and extra time, Atletico de Kolkata’s Josemi, Mohammed Rafi, Jofre Mateu and Borja Fernandez were bang on target when it mattered most at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium.
For the Goa outfit, Andre Santos’s spot-kick sailed over the bar while Haroon Amiri’s effort struck the upright. Tolgay Ozbey and Clifford Miranda successfully converted but that was not enough.
Bruno Pinheiro returned from suspension for the home side while coach Zico also included Peter Carvalho in his starting XI. The duo replaced the injured Narayan Das and Youness Bengelloun.
Atletico de Kolkata coach Antonio Lopez Habas made two changes, bringing in Arnab Mondal and Baljit Sahni, who was coming off a one-game suspension. The visitors, though, were without Fikru Teferra.
The visitors had the first chance of the game when Jakub Podany was brought down by Gregory Arnolin, but the resultant free-kick by Josemi was off target.
The home side had its share of chances too when Debabrata Roy laid one for Andre Santos at the far post in the seventh minute. The Brazilian pulled the ball back which was deflected by Ofentse Nato for Romeo Fernandes, but the Indian winger’s effort found the side-netting.