bambolim: Mar 12 (IANS) Hyderabad FC set foot in what would be their first final after scripting a 3-1 win over ATK Mohun Bagan in the first leg of the 2021-22 Indian Super League second semi-final -final at the Atlético Stadium, here on Saturday.
Roy Krishna helped ATKMB take the lead, but the ex-finalists’ joy was short-lived when Bartholomew Ogbeche (45th) equalized at the cusp of halftime, only for Yasir Mohammad (58th) and Javier Siviero (64th) they will be overlooked.
The two teams will meet again on Wednesday for the second leg and ATKMB will need to find the back of the net at least twice to have a chance of advancing to their second consecutive summit clash.
ATKMB seemed to have gotten the better of Hyderabad in the opening exchanges, Juan Ferrando doing well to make his team defend well and close the gaps for the yellow shirts to explode down the flanks and feed Ogbeche. Hyderabad missed Asish Rai and his absence was felt more when they fell behind early in the game.
Liston Colaco was back in the spotlight again, causing more than one problem for Nim Dorjee Tamang, who was eventually sold to the cunning of the former Hyderabad winger when he spun him around to cross Krishna, who got in front of his marker and stabbed at home.
Akash Mishra was at fault for failing to mark Krishna correctly, but Nim Dorjee never quite got the measure of Colaco in the first place, the speedy winger lunging forward after receiving the ball and dribbling past Nim Dorjee to whip in a delightful cross.
Hyderabad saw more of the ball, but it wasn’t paying off, as ATKMB fell deep when needed to deprive the likes of Javier Siviero and Ogbeche of serve from midfield or flanks. It was after the cool-down break that Ogbeche, not receiving enough balls, took it upon himself to dribble past a few green and maroon jerseys showing amazing skills, but in the end he couldn’t make the most of it.
Ogbeche’s industry, however, was not in vain when he found the back of the net just before the halftime whistle. It was a record-breaking goal, the Nigerian equaling the record for most goals in a single season after Juanan sent the ball for him to head in from close range.
Yasir Mohammad’s corner was not cleared by the ATKMB defenders and the ball fell to Juanan who saw Ogbeche in the right place at the right time. Sandesh Jhingan shook his head, knowing he could have done better when Ogbeche beat him on goal as both teams returned to the locked tunnel at 1-1.
The second half belonged to Hyderabad as they scored twice in the space of six minutes to write a comeback after a disappointing first 45 minutes. It was a double whammy for ATKMB, as not only did Yasir Mohammad score after Jhingan and Tiri collided in an attempt to clear the ball near the box with Yasir finishing from outside the box, but Tiri had to be stretchered off. . Minutes later, Siviero headed in a corner to make it 3-1.
Ogbeche was everywhere in the second half for Manolo Márquez’s side, his groundwork helping Yasir Mohammad score the goal. At the other end, Joni Kauko fired a volley deflected off a Hugo Boumous cut from the baseline.
In the closing minutes, ATKMB desperately searched for a goal to cut the margin with substitute Kiyan Nassiri closing in as he found the post from close range.