Panaji (Goa) [India], March 10 (ANI): After progressing to the final of the Indian Super League (ISL), ATK Mohun Bagan coach Antonio Habas said that his side has shown great character throughout the season.
ATK Mohun Bagan held the fort against a spirited rearguard press by NorthEast United to seal a place in the ISL final with a 2-1 win (3-2 on aggregate) over the Highlanders at the Fatorda Stadium on Tuesday. With this win, the Mariners have set up a title clash against Mumbai City FC.
"I am very happy with the performance of the players and the staff. The team has good character. Maybe the players think a lot about the final. We didn't have any problem in the match," said Habas during the post-match press conference.
"We knew that we have to win the match. We didn't want to go to extra-time. Now the players are tired, there is a lot of humidity and there is the Covid-19. In the first 45 minutes, the team had intensity," he added.
David Williams (38') continued his form in the playoffs by scoring yet again while Manvir Singh (68') added the second before Suhair Vadakkepeedika (74') pulled a goal back for the Highlanders. The Mariners adopted a completely different approach from the first leg. They had 16 shots in the first half but just three on target. It took them just three minutes to sound a warning.
"NorthEast United had a fantastic season. They had players in attack and defence. Not easy for anyone to win. Today we were superior and better. I want to help the players recover, analyze the situation and compete. This team (Mumbai City FC) has one thing in clear that they are very competitive. It will be very difficult for the opponents," said Habas.
"This season was a more difficult season. Because the players, technical players were in quarantine. No distraction, family, only 24 hours of football. It is very difficult to keep calm. You will have a fantastic season because the players have (scored) 10 points for their behaviour," he added.
ATK Mohun Bagan and Mumbai City will lock horns in the final of the ISL on Saturday. (ANI)