ISL: Second-best ATK sets sight on record third title

Apart from scoring the second-most goals and conceding the second-fewest in the league phase, ATK also has the second-most clean sheets this season.

ATK has the second best attack and defence in the league this season.   -  ISL Sportzpics

From finishing sixth with a negative goal difference (-4) last season to being second on the table — only behind the high-flying FC Goa, ATK has put up an all-round improved performance in this edition of the Indian Super League (ISL).

It has the second best attack (33 goals), second best defence (16 goals) and the second best goal difference (17) in the league.

Roy Krishna (14), Edu Garcia and David Williams (both 5) have all been responsible for close to three-fourths of its goals tally. Australian Williams started off well with his former Wellington Phoenix partner Krishna but injury kept him out of action in January. Such was also the case with Spaniard Garcia, who was sidelined in December.

Nonetheless, ATK had a decent campaign and sealed a playoffs berth for the fourth time in six seasons.

Although it started with a 2-1 loss to Kerala Blasters in the opening match of the season, the Antonio Habas-coached side bounced back in style by remaining unbeaten in its next six games.

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This season, ATK has performed better at home than away, winning six matches as compared to four on the road. It also scored more goals at home (18) than away (15). On average, ATK manages 1.83 goals per game, which is better than two of its top four rivals — Bengaluru (1.22) and Chennaiyin (1.78).

Apart from conceding the second-fewest goals in the league phase (16), it also has the second-most clean sheets (9). Bengaluru has the tightest backline, registering 10 cleansheets while conceding just 13 goals.

The two-time ISL champion seems to have struck a balance in attack and defence this season. On its path to the record third ISL crown, ATK faces a Bengaluru side that has never defeated Habas and Co.

Player to watch out for: Roy Krishna

Contributing to nearly half of ATK’s total goal tally, Roy Krishna has undoubtedly been the Kolkata outfit’s MVP this season. His 14 goals keep him third in the race for Golden Boot, behind Bartholomew Ogbeche (15) and Ferran Corominas (14).


Roy Krishna (21) has been central to ATK's performances this season.   -  ISL Sportzpics


In addition to his impressive goal-scoring ability, the Fijian also sees himself in the list for top assists, tied at ninth with five assists.

ATK, in Roy Krishna, has a player who can upset defenders and turn the game in its favour.

Goals scored1833
Goals conceded2216
Clean sheets49



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