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ATKMB vs Maziya Sports and Recreation (Photo: Twitter/ATK Mohun Bagan)
ATKMB vs Maziya Sports and Recreation (Photo: Twitter/ATK Mohun Bagan)

AFC Cup 2022: ATK Mohun Bagan enter Interzone semis after crushing Maziya 5-2

ANI | Updated: May 25, 2022 16:04 IST

Kolkata (West Bengal) [India], May 25 (ANI): India's ATK Mohun Bagan surged into the AFC Cup 2022 knockout stage with a 5-2 win over Maziya Sports and Recreation of the Maldives on Tuesday.
Needing a win and nothing less to secure top spot in Group D, the group hosts got up and running thanks to a first half brace from Finnish midfielder Joini Kauko, then went on with the job after half-time to delight the crowd at Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan Stadium.
The result sent the Indian Super League outfit to the Inter-Zone Semi-finals for the second successive season, with the club to resume their continental campaign in early September.
The match swung sharply in ATK Mohun Bagan's favour on 26 minutes, when Maziya goalkeeper Kiran Chemjong, under pressure from Roy Krishna, passed the ball directly to the feet of Kauko, who duly slammed it home from 15 yards.
Kauko then doubled the lead, latching onto Manvir Singh's superb flick-on header before beating Kiran for the second time in 11 minutes to put Juan Ferrando's charges two goals ahead.
ATK Mohun Bagan's path out of the group looked trouble-free, but Maziya were handed a lifeline when Deepak Tangri lost possession far too cheaply just before half-time, with Pedro Placeeres, also known as Tana, punishing the error after being supplied by Cornelius Stewart.
With the score at 2-1 at the interval, the game was very much up for grabs, but the hosts' nerves were eased when Krishna expertly poked home their third after bringing a Subhashish Bose cross under control in the 56th minute.
ATK Mohun Bagan's knockout stage ticket was as good as stamped when three became four just two minutes later, with Subhashish helping Liston Colaco's set-piece delivery on its way, with Maziya's defence putting up a increasingly shallow resistance as the match slipped out of their grasp.
The visitors' night went from bad to worse when Carl McHugh ventured forward to make it 5-1 with the aid of a deflection in the 71st minute, although Tana rounded his own excellent campaign when he headed home his second of the match to reduce the arrears two minutes later as AFC Cup 2022's most compelling group continued to deliver right to the last. (ANI)