ATK got over their disappointment in the season opener with a dominant 5-0 win against Hyderabad FC in an Indian Super League clash at the Salt Lake Stadium in Kolkata on Friday.
Debutants Hyderabad FC struggled to contain the ATK attack consisting of Roy Krishna and David Williams who opened their accounts for the season. Williams opened the scoring in the 25th minute with a neat finish before Krishna doubled the lead two minutes later with a long-range effort. The Australian forward notched his second goal in the 44th minute to make it 3-0 and to late strikes from Edu Garcia (88’, 90+4’) completed an emphatic win.
The 5-0 result was also ATK’s biggest win at home.
ATK’s gameplan was evident right from the start. They were quick to get on the ball and build attacks. The wave of pressure from the hosts pinned the visitors into their own half and it soon paid dividends.
Hyderabad, who had to replace an injured Rafael Lopez with Marko Stankovic midway through the half, succumbed to the brilliance of the ATK duo of Roy Krishna and David Williams. In the 25th minute, Javier Hernandez fed Williams in behind the defence and the forward, who beat the offside trap, executed a fine finish.
Two minutes later, Williams found Krishna in plenty of space outside the box and the Fijian striker’s firm low shot took a slight touch off goalkeeper Kamaljit Singh’s gloves before rolling into the net.
Hyderabad’s front line of Robin Singh, Giles Barnes and Marcelinho were monitored and kept in check by ATK’s astute three-man defence throughout the first half.
At the stroke of half-time, Williams once again broke free from the offside trap to latch onto Jayesh Rane’s through-ball and finished well past the goalkeeper to make it 3-0 at the half-time whistle.
Michael Soosairaj, who looked threatening from the left wing-back role, embarked on a mazy run from his own box following a Hyderabad corner-kick after the break. The former Jamshedpur winger beat two players on his way up the field, but failed in his attempt to set up Roy Krishna and a dangerous attack came to an abrupt end.
Soosairaj had another shot at the goal after the hour-mark as ATK continued to cruise. Hyderabad FC was all at sea against an intelligent ATK side.
Substitute Edu Garcia added two more goals to complete Hyderabad’s humiliation. Prabir Das dribbled into the box from the right flank and drilled a ball across the face of the goal in the 88th minute for Garcia to tap in. The duo combined again as the Spaniard headed in Das’ incisive cross in added time to seal the demolition job.