ATK Mohun Bagan (ATKMB) made it to the knockout stage of the AFC Cup football tournament after a 1-1 draw with Bangladesh’s champion Basundhara Kings in their Group D final match here on Tuesday. The Indian football club made it to the inter-zone semi-finals of this second-tier continental tournament as the champions of the South Asia region.
Brazil midfielder Jonathan Fernandes (28th minute) gave Bangladesh the lead. Australian forward David Williams (62nd minute) leveled ATKMB in the second half with a goal from Liston Colaco’s cross.
Earlier, Sushanto Tripura (45+2 minutes) of Basundhara Kings was sent out with a red card before half time after which the team had to play with 10 players. ATK Mohun Bagan finished on top of the group with a total of seven points in this draw. Kings team finished second with five points.
This is the first time since 2018 that an Indian team has made it to the regional semi-finals, check match stats. The ATKMB team will take on the winner of the match between the teams of Nasaf of Uzbekistan and Ahl of Turkmenistan on 22 September. ATKMB needed a win or a draw while Basundhara’s team needed a win to make it to the knockouts.
The Indian team had to struggle against Basundhara Kings in the beginning and Fernandes gave the Bangladesh team the lead by scoring a goal by hitting goalkeeper Amarinder Singh. Bangladesh were leading 1-0 till half time, however, they played a defensive game after half time, which was exploited by ATKMB to level with Williams’ goal.