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ATK scripts a comeback win over Chennaiyin

Defending champion Atletico de Kolkata ended its success-drought at home with a comeback 2-1 win against visiting Chennaiyin FC here on Wednesday. Sameehg Doutie and Iain Hume scored once each to ensure full points for the hosts after the visitors had found the lead through Raphael Augusto.

ATK, which beat Chennaiyin FC 3-2 earlier, made it a double with the home win.

It was Even-Stevens in the first-half for the teams as they reaped success in contrasting styles.

The hosts, playing in their usual formation with priority on attack, found a late flourish, while the visitors had usurped the initial advantage with their snatch-and-run technique based on an overtly defensive formation.

Less adventurous

Chennaiyin coach Marco Materazzi sought to be less adventurous considering the reputation of the hosts and put an extra man in a withdrawn-midfield, while completely overhauling the attack that played and lost against NorthEast United FC (1-2) at home in the previous outing.

The visitors rested both Balwant Singh and Colombian Stiven Mendoza while bringing in the Ethiopian Fikru Teferra to join Brazilian play-maker Elano Blumer.

Looking for the elusive win, Materazzi jiggled the side making five changes, prominent among which was bringing in the India goalkeeper Karanjit Singh.

ATK made a couple of changes among the Indian players, playing Arata Izumi in the attack and Arnab Mondal in the defence for Jewel Raja and N. Mohanraj.

The first goal, which occurred the 27th minute, was more of a gift from the ATK defenders — Augustine Fernandes and Mondal — who both failed to clear the through-pass of Firkru leaving Brazilian midfielder Raphael Augusto with a freebie inside the ATK box that the latter scored with ease.

The equaliser happened after a prolonged toil and at the end of the fist-half, just when the visitors seemed to be relaxing after putting on a good resistance against the hosts’ ambitions.

After Hume, the lone striker of ATK, had seen his header miss the target in the 45th minute, South African right-winger Doutie blasted home a rasping volley to get the ball past Karanjit in the injury time (45+2 minute).

The Channaiyin goalkeeper had cleared a Jamie Gavilan freekick to give Doutie with the chance at the top of the box.

Better passing game

The change of ends saw a more-disciplined ATK, which played a better passing game to offset the counter-offensive approach of Chennaiyin.

Hume had the first opportunity in the 58th minute but Karanjit saved his attempt with a desperate lunge.

The winner came off a well-coordinated effort in the 63rd minute as Arnab released Hume with a long ball from near the home box.

Hume squared the ball to Valdo on the right and the latter relayed it along the line to Doutie, who chugged up the park before setting up a sharp cross.

Hume, who had made it to the goalmouth anticipating the pass, flicked the ball past an onrushing Karanjit to make it a spectacular effort in the end.

The win, which was its second in four matches at home, took Atletico de Kolkata to the second spot with 17 points from 11 matches, while Chennaiyin FC, suffering its sixth loss overall, remained at the bottom of the table.

The result: Atletico de Kolkata 2 (Sameehg Doutie 45+2, Iain Hume 63) bt Chennaiyin FC 1 (Raphael Augusto 27).

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