ISL: Chennaiyin shocks ATK, keeps playoff chance alive

Roy Krishna's heroics couldn't save ATK from an inspired showing from Chennaiyin FC, which manages to keep its playoff hopes alive with these three points.

Rafael Crivellaro scored the opener for Chennaiyin FC against ATK in Kolkata on Sunday   -  ISL Media

Chennaiyin FC kept its play-off chances alive by downing host ATK 3-1 in an ISL outing at the Salt Lake Stadium, here on Sunday. Needing a win to keep itself afloat in the tournament, Chennaiyin put up an inspired performance scoring twice in the opening half and finding the third late in stoppage time. Rafael Crivellaro, Andre Schembri and Nerujis Valskis found the target once each for the visitor while Roy Krishna scored ATK's lone goal of the night.

Highlights | ISL: Chennaiyin thumps poor ATK 3-1 - As it happened

Chennaiyin was the better of the two teams, showing better attacking organisation than the host. Owen Coyle's men soon turned the advantage in their favour and found the break in the seventh minute. Eli Sabia made the most of an ATK miss-pass and released Crivellaro a few yards from the half-line. The latter made a darting run towards the goal, keeping ATK defenders on their toes. Once in the box, the Brazilian unleashed a sharp angular left footer to find the back of the net.

ATK tried to regroup after the goal, but Chennaiyin kept attacking relentlessly to offset the former's attempt to make a comeback. Andre Schembri doubled Chennaiyin's lead in the 40th minute, courtesy a howler from Arindam Bhattacharya. The ATK keeper rushed out and failed to punch out a corner, allowing Schembri a free header into the goal.

ATK pulled one back immediately after (in the same minute) as Krishna got the target, latching on to a long ball from Javier Hernandez. ATK put the ball twice in Chennayin's goal thereafter but was caught off-side on both occasions. Krishna also remained wasteful on two occasions, ending ATK’s chances of equalising, leave alone manage a lead. Valskis scored the third in the last minute of the injury-time. Nerka caught a long ball from Thapa. Arindam found himself off his line by a mile, standing well outside the box and a simple chip in from the Lithuanian cruised into the net.

Chennaiyin now has 25 points from 16 matches to stay in the race for a play-off berth. ATK remained on 33 points from 17 matches and saw its Asian Champions League hopes almost evaporating.

The result: ATK 1 (Roy Krishna 40) lost to Chennaiyin FC 3 (Rafael Crivellaro 7, Andre Schembri 40, Nerujis Valskis 90+4)

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