ATK hosted the ISL newcomers Hyderabad FC at the Salt lake stadium on matchday 6. A change at the back for ATK as Anas returned to the lineup. Hyderabad FC however had retained most of the core from former Pune City FC. The visitors got us underway for the first half.
A back pass to the Hyderabad keeper almost opened the account for ATK when the keeper’s clearance hit the ATK attackers who closed down quickly. ATK’s Williams was the first to register a shot on target, with his long range attempt blocked off by the keeper. HFC lost Rafa to injury on the 15th minute who was replaced by Stankovic. The 18th minute saw another outside the box attempt this time from Soosairaj, whose curled effort hit the goal post. The opening 20 minutes were completely dominated by the home team. Their urgency to score was clear. And in the 25th minute, a perfectly timed run by Williams put him one on one with the keeper. With loads of time on the ball, Williams was able to put it into the back of the net making it 1-0 to ATK. ATK struck again minutes later when Roy Krishna’s strike from 20 yards out hit the post and went in. Although Kamaljit got his fingers to the ball, it wasn’t enough to prevent the goal.
Williams again timed his run beautifully beating the offside trap set by HFC and was through on goal again. With a look over his shoulder and to the linesman, Williams placed his shot between the keeper’s legs and made it 3-0 to ATK on the 44th minute. ATK were all over ISL newbies Hyderabad. In the dying minutes of the half, Williams had another opportunity to score his third goal. But this time the Hyderabad defenders did enough to put him off.
The hosts kicked the second half to a start. L. Ralte was brought on at half time for his debut for HFC. Hyderabad started the half with an opportunity falling for Giles, whose shot on target was blocked by Arindam. This was Hyderabad’s first real opportunity. Hyderabad had another injury problem as Marcelinho limped off on the 57th minute. It was a quieter half for ATK who had changed to lower gears. Hyderabad began seeing more of the ball. Soosai’s attempt on goal from outside the box was again saved. Hyderabad struggled to create any clear cut chances. With three substitutions already made, things became worse for Hyderabad when Poojary was stretchered off. Hyderabad was down to 10 men for the rest of the game.
An attack from ATK on the 85TH minute saw Prabir Das blast his effort over the bar. On the 87th minute however, substitute Edu Garcia too got onto the score sheet as he converted a ball played in by Prabir. It was a night to forget for the Hyderabad defense who had leaked 4 goals on their first ever outing as a team in ISL.
Things just got worse for Hyderabad in extra time. A beautiful ball whipped in by Prabir again was headed home by Edu Garcia (90’ +5’) again who had a brace coming off the bench.
The referee put Hyderabad’s misery to an end as he blew the full time whistle. It was a harsh lesson for the new comers, whose defense was dismantled by the ruthless ATK attack.
ATK’s David Williams was adjudged the “Hero of the Match” for excellent brace and an assist. ATK’s performance sent a warning message to all other teams in the league. They were serious contenders now.