Chennaiyin FC managed to scrape past a resurgent and valiant ATK side to make to the finals of ISL 2015 on aggregate. Barring the first 15 minutes, ATK unleashed a torrent of attacks on the Chennaiyin goal but managed only 2 in the 90 minutes. Chennaiyin FC must be indebted to two ATK rejects from last year, goalkeeper Edel Apoula Bette and striker Fikru Tefera. Edel saved close to 10 goals in the whole match as Fikru scored the injury time goal for Chennaiyin to take the fight well beyond ATK’s reach.
Chennaiyin started the match on song as they attacked the ATK goal multiple times in teh opening minutes and managed get 2 corners but ATK defenders managed to save the fort. Slowly they took control of the midfield and started some quality moves towards CFC goal. The breakthrough came at the 22nd minute as Bernard Mendy played a wrong touch within the penalty box and Dejan Lekic who was prowling scored with a flick.
ATK increased the pressure but could not manage another goal for another 65 minutes as Bernard Mendy and Adel Bette put up an impregnable wall. The closest chances probably fell to Izumi Arata and Dejan Lekic as Lekic shot over the bars at 60th minute despite getting an open goal and Arata hit Mendy from only 6 yards out.
As all hopes seemed to fade for ATK, Iain Hume, who worked like an engine all night played a beautiful one-two with Lekic and chipped into the top right corner to make it 2 – 0 at the 88th minute. 2 minutes later, Hume’s header off Gavillan’s freekick beat Bette but hit the crossbar.
Then the controversy started as Mendoza’s replacement Fikru got into a tussle with Samheeg Doutie as soon as he came on the field. On the second minute of injury time, Fikru shot the ball out for a throw-in instead of a customary kick back to opposition goalkeeper. In their hurry to begin the play, Amrinder and Mohanraj made a meal of the throw-in and Fikru scored to make it 4 – 2 on aggregate. The goal sparked a huge conundrum in the ground. ATK coach Habas was sent off from the technical area as he unleashed a barrage of disapproval on the assistant referee.
Chennaiyin FC moves to the final of ISL 2015 to face FC Goa. Edel Bette was fittingly awarded the Hero of the Match laurel as Iain Hume bagged the Swift Moment of the Game Award.
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