Chennaiyin FC had a poor record against the Kolkata outfit, losing both the home and away leg fixture this season. However, the pressure which was believed to be on the Chennai team is now overturned. Chennaiyin attackers scored a goal each during the first leg of the ISL 2015 Semi-final at their makeshift home ground of Pune and now it is the holders, ATK that are under the pump.
Chennaiyin FC gain huge advantage
Chennaiyin FC took the advantage in the very first minute and rocked the Kolkata defense. A Dhanachandra Singh throw aimed at the Kolkata box reached Stiven Mendoza with enough space to time his shot, and he struck it towards the goal but the Kolkata keeper Amrinder Singh managed to deflect it away.
But only as far as Mendoza, and he was prepared to take another shot at goal. However, he was second time unlucky as Singh made a remarkable save to keep Atletico supporters in high spirits.
There were moments of excitement and frustration for both teams, with the semifinalists displaying defensive prowess and great attacking combinations in equal measure. However, neither of the teams succeeded for most part of the first half.
Finally Bruno Pelissari broke the deadlock from a relatively safe position on the field through a free-kick, putting the Atletico men on the back foot trailing 1-0 at half time.
The second half was not so bright for the Sourav Ganguly owned team either as the Chennai forwards found the Kolkata defenders in weak positions and left no opportunity to cause trouble. Lalpekhlua was the next to register his name on the score-sheet in the 57th minute and Mendoza added the final wound to Atletico de Kolkata, scoring a third for his team with just over 20 minutes remaining in play.
With this win, Chennaiyin are in the box seat for a place in the finals. Whereas for the defending champions, ATK it will be a uphill battle to stay alive and it will be interesting to see if Habas and his men have one last fight left in their tired bodies.