ATK Mohun Bagan was unable to secure a berth in the playoffs after a resilient Odisha FC held them off for 90 mins, securing a point with a 1-1 draw after the final whistle.
The only goals of the match came in the first 10 minutes as Joni Kauko’s goal from the spot in the 8th minute cancelled out Redeem Tlang's goal in the 5th minute. There were two questionable penalty decisions at either end by referee Aditya Purkayastha. In the 6th minute, Mariner's Hugo Boumous went down in the penalty area, apparently, after minimum contact from left-back Sahil Panwar. The resulting penalty was converted by the Finnish midfielder Kauko.
The other contentious penalty decision came in the 22nd minute when the referee was convinced ATKMB's defender Tiri tripped Aridai Suarez just inside the box. However, the Kalinga Warrior's joy was short-lived as talisman Javier Hernandez's weak shot from the spot was too easy for keeper Amrinder Singh to secure in his gloves.
In what is the official match 100 of the Indian Super League at the Tilak Maidan Stadium, ATK Mohun Bagan head coach Juan Ferrando expressed disappointment with his team failing to collect the crucial three points. "Disappointing for us. Our target was to get three points. This is my thought for today's game. It's necessary to fight until the last moment. This is my target and our mentality. Till the last moment, we need to fight," said Ferrando in a post-match press conference.
The head coach further said that the team is going through tough times after three players were left out due to injuries. "It is difficult when you do the necessary substitutions for injuries. This is the reason because when players are ready you can do substitution depending on the performance, depending on that moment if you want to change the plan. But when you lose three substitutions for injuries it gets difficult. But this is not an excuse it's a problem for all the teams because of quarantine and no training then you come to play two games in three days, it's normal," said the head coach.
"Now, I think it's necessary to take up the race and prepare for the Bengaluru FC game. Now it's not necessary to talk because at this moment we need to keep calm and think for the next day," he added.
Odisha FC's coach Kino Garcia was happy with his team's performance but regretted the missed chances to score a winner. "We want Odisha FC to have a good season, we also try to make the fans proud. I think today we had a really hard game against ATK Mohun Bagan but honestly, we had many clear chances to win the game," said Garcia in a post-match press conference.
"I think we had many chances. We had a plan against ATK Mohun Bagan, we knew how to close the spaces and I think that we didn't suffer a lot against one of the best teams in the ISL. We had really good chances, with Aridai and also the penalty so, I think that we had really clear chances during the game and I'm really proud of the performance of my players and how they gave everything today on the pitch," he added.
The Kalinga Warriors currently sits seventh on the table and out of reach of ISL playoffs. Garcia stated that his side will be enjoying the last days in Goa and will put up a fight against second-placed Jamshedpur FC, in what will be their final game of the 2021-22 campaign.
"The plan is to enjoy the last game and ensure that the players enjoy it. Today, I'm really happy for Sebastian Thangmuansan, he didn't play much during the season and he did a wonderful job. So sometimes, the player is working hard and you give them a chance and I think that he deserved to be one of the better players of the game. We will try to prepare against Jamshedpur FC, put them in difficulties, try to make the best match possible against them, and enjoy our last day in Goa," said Garcia.
(With inputs from ANI)