ATK Mohun Bagan (ATKMB) will be seeking its second successive entry in the play-offs with a win against Odisha FC, when the two meet in an Indian Super League (ISL) fixture at the Tilak Maidan Stadium on Thursday. The runner-up of the previous edition, which is currently on 30 points from 16 matches, is firmly placed among the top four of the league ladder and needs some more points to secure its position.
Odisha FC has already seen the end of its semifinal dreams after its previous loss against Bengaluru FC and will only be playing for pride. It is placed seventh with 22 points from 18 matches and the best it could achieve is finishing in the top half of the table.
ATKMB will be aiming to get its winning form back after it escaped with a 2-2 draw against Kerala Blasters with a last-minute goal in its previous outing. For ATKMB’s Spanish coach, Juan Ferrando, there is enough to be confident about his team’s consistency, which can be measured from the fact that his side has remained unbeaten in the last 12 matches.
ATKMB achieved this even without its key foreigners like Roy Krishna and Hugo Boumous, who had to sit out with injuries in recent weeks. The team was served well by its Indian cast especially Liston Colaco and Manvir Singh, who took over the responsibility of keeping the team unbeaten by showing considerable finesse. Finland midfielder Joni Kauko filled up the apparent void in the offensive, shepherding his Indian colleagues to bring up their best. Kauko has been involved in five goals, among which three were assists.
For Odisha FC it has been a story of failure at the decisive stage. The team made a good start to the season but failed to sustain the momentum when it mattered. It fell off the competition in the second phase managing just six points (out of a possible 21) in the last seven games.
Latest on Sportstar
- ‘I will continue’: Ronaldo says he’ll stay in Saudi
- India wins Junior Asia Cup, beats Pakistan 2-1
- Champions League final referee under UEFA scrutiny for links to far-right leader in Poland
- Swiatek defeats Liu, reaches French Open third round
- India 2-1 Pakistan Highlights, Junior Asia Cup Final: India defends Asian crown with thrilling win