ISL 2021-22 semifinal: ATKMB facing uphill task against comfortably-placed Hyderabad FC

Jamshedpur FC has a massive task on its hands when it takes on a confident, resourceful Kerala Blasters side in their Indian Super League (ISL 2021-22) second leg semifinal clash the Tilak Maidan Stadium in Vasco on Tuesday.

ATK Mohun Bagan head coach Juan Ferrando (left) and Hyderabad FC head coach Manolo Marquez (right).   -  Focus Sports/ISL

ATK Mohun Bagan will be hoping to implement its plans more aggressively when it meets the resolute Hyderabad FC with the need of winning the match by a three-goal margin and realise its aspirations of reaching the ISL 2021--22 final.

The second leg of the second semifinal at Bambolim on Wednesday thus puts the onus on ATKMB, which now has the onerous task of erasing the two-goal deficit it conceded in the 1-3 loss against Hyderabad FC in the first leg to survive in the tournament. A draw or a loss by less than a goal’s margin will be enough for Hyderabad to sail through and realize its maiden final entry.

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Hyderabad FC, which had spent a big part of the season on top of the league standings before losing the League Shield to Jamshedpur FC in the last league outing, showed great spirit in recovering from the setback and prevailing over ATKMB in the first leg. This factor gives Hyderabad the psychological edge over ATKMB, which has failed to perform when it mattered.

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Bart Ogbecghe (right) celebrates with Javier Siverio of Hyderabad FC after scoring a goal against ATK Mohun Bagan in the first-leg of the semifinal between the two teams.   -  Focus Sports/ISL

 

It lost the League Shield by going down to the eventual winner Jamshedpur FC in the league’s last outing and then continued to falter in the first leg of the semis where it was outclassed by Hyderabad.

“In football, the most important thing is the mentality. It has not been easy for us in the last few matches, but we will try as best as we can,” hoped the ATKMB coach Juan Ferrando.

Hyderabad FC coach Manolo Marquez expected his team to show the right attitude and find a place in the final. “We believe we can qualify for the final and we know that all the pressure is on ATK Mohun Bagan at the moment,” he said.

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