ATK Mohun Bagan and Hyderabad play a goalless draw in the first leg of the semi-final
ATK Mohun Bagan and Hyderabad played a goalless draw in the 2022-23 season of the Indian Super League at the Gachibowli Stadium in Hyderabad on Thursday. Both sides got numerous opportunities to break the deadlock but the opposite set of defenders came up with timely blocks and clearance to deny them.
Hyderabad took the field in a 4-2-3-1 formation with Gurmeet Singh guarding the sticks. Nikhil Poojary, Chinglensana Singh, Odei Onaindia, and Akash Mishra played as the back four while Sahil Tavora and Borja Herrera were deployed as the two defensive midfielders. Mohammed Yasir, Joel Chianese, and Halicharan Narzary played as the three attacking midfielders in front of them with Javier Siverio playing as the lone striker.
ATK Mohun Bagan, too, took the field in a 4-2-3-1 formation. Vishal Kaith played as the goalkeeper with the quartet of Subhasish Bose, Slavko Damjanovic, Pritam Kotal, and Ashish Rai playing as the four defenders ahead of him. Puitea and Carl McHugh played as the two defensive midfielders while Liston Colaco, Hugo Boumous, and Manvir Singh were entrusted with supplying balls to their lone striker Dimitrios Petratos.
The first chance of the game fell to Hyderabad in the 11th minute when Halicharan floated a sumptuous cross towards the centre from the left flank. Chianese sneaked past his marker to connect his header but Kaith responded with a reflex dive to his right to prevent the ball from nestling into the bottom corner.
Four minutes later, Yasir tried to lay a through pass towards Chianese inside the box. But, Bose came up with a block at the last minute to prevent the Australian from taking a shot. Halicharan unleashed a shot from outside the box in the 25th minute but it failed to breach past the ATK Mohun Bagan defense and Bose made a clearance at the end.
Odei attempted an overhead kick in the 35th minute on the rebound but his shot flew over the crossbar. ATK Mohun Bagan came the closest to finding the net three minutes later when Kotal’s shot hit the post. Petratos’ free-kick was connected by Colaco who laid it towards the centre. Kotal tried to sneak the ball past the goal line but it hit the woodwork.
In the dying minutes of the first half, Tavora let loose a shot from 40 yards away from the goal but it rolled past the sticks. The two sides went into the tunnel with nothing to separate them.
Asish Rai nearly found the net against his former side in the 52nd minute when he made a dazzling run through the right flank and fired a shot towards the bottom corner. However, Gurmeet was up to the task of making a timely save. Two minutes later, Yasir took a dipping shot from outside the box but it hit the woodwork.
In the 61st minute, Liston’s pass from the centre of the pitch found Manvir through on goal in the right flank. Gurmeet, however, saved his final shot at the near post. Yasir’s cross in the 83rd minute towards Ogbeche saw the latter tower above his marker to connect it. But, it was way off target.
Petratos took a long-range shot in the final minutes of the game but Gurmeet positioned himself perfectly to collect the ball. The referee soon blew his whistle and the game ended in a 0-0 draw. The two sides will meet with each other once again on Monday in a winner takes all battle at the Salt Lake Stadium in Kolkata to qualify for the final.