AFC Cup: Always had victory on mind, says ATKMB coach Habas


ATK Mohun Bagan (ATKMB) head coach Antonio Lopez Habas said on Sunday that he was happy with the way his team scripted a comeback to beat Maziya Sports & Recreation of Maldives in their AFC Cup Group D South Zone encounter here on Saturday evening.

Local side Maziya went ahead in the game in the 25th minute as they stunned ATKMB on the counter through Aisam Ibrahim. The Kolkata-based side, however, lifted their performance several notches up in the second half and scored through Liston Colaco, Roy Krishna and Manvir Singh to turn the tables on their opponents, notching up a 3-1 victory.

“We had some difficulties with the opponent because they scored first. After a change of system, we became consistent and I’m very proud of my players,” quoted Habas as saying.

ATKMB, the 2020/21 Indian Super League (Hero ISL) finalists, play Bangladesh’s Bashundhara Kings on Tuesday and now all they need is a draw from that match to qualify for the inter-zone semifinal. However, Habas said his team does not play for draws irrespective of what the situation is and who they play against.

“We have six points, and no other team has that. [In this match] we had the possibility to draw, but we didn’t have to think that way, only the possibility for us to try to win, and this will be our idea [again] for the next match.”

Roy Krishna, who had also scored against Bengaluru FC earlier this week in a 2-0 win, was equally jubilant. He said despite conceding first ATKMB never gave up and were confident of a good result.

“We knew that we had the quality, with the best players in our team and we trusted in the way we played,” said Krishna.

“We knew we would get more chances and we just had to be patient. We hurried a lot [in the first half] but we played the way we wanted in the second half and got the goals,” the Fijian striker added.