Australian star ahead David Williams scored a superb hat-trick beneath stress as ATK Mohun Bagan survived some anxious moments to down Abahani Restricted Dhaka 3-1 and make the AFC Cup principal spherical on Tuesday.
In a do-or-die playoff fixture on the Salt Lake Stadium, ATKMB had been in cruise mode within the first half and very quickly they’d a 2-0 cushion, with Williams scoring a brace (sixth, thirtieth).
The Aussie accomplished his hat-trick with 5 minutes left on the clock but it surely got here after a lot drama, whilst the house crowd of about 32,000 heaved a sigh of aid.
The six-time Bangladesh Premier League champions, who regarded lacklustre within the first half, confirmed that they had been no pushovers as they discovered a method again into the match with lower than half-hour left.
Costa Rican recruit Daniel Colindres simply slotted the ball previous an out-of-place Amrinder Singh to scale back the margin.
Immediately the native favourites began to buckle beneath stress as Abahani made some promising inroads. Their substitute Jewel Rana virtually scored a aim from the precise aspect of the field however his shot went inches large.
Moments later, Nurul Faisal curled in a cross from the left flank to Rakib Hossain contained in the field however his shot went large.
The Mario Lemos-coached aspect stored threatening, whilst ATKMB’s Colaco and substitute Kiyan Nassiri missed two simple probabilities.
With nothing going of their method, it was Frenchman Hugo Boumous who produced a magical by way of ball from the midfield, and the Aussie raided into an open internet to seal the problem.
ATKMB thus joined Gokulam Kerala, Bashundhara Kings (Bangladesh) and Maziya Sports activities and Recreation (Maldives) within the Group D of the AFC Cup principal spherical.
They may tackle Gokulam Kerala of their group opener on Might 18.
Earlier, the native giants acquired an enormous increase with a fit-again Amrinder Singh, who had a niggle, again in aim, whereas Liston Colaco additionally returned to the assault.
With Colaco again within the left-wing, the urgency was evident proper in the beginning as he initiated an vital transfer to set it up for an advancing Kauko.
The Finnish midfielder drilled in a scientific cross to Williams contained in the field, who slammed dwelling the lead for the Mariners.
Colaco grew in confidence after the early onslaught as he made some sensible drives from the left flank, giving the Abahani defence a tricky time.
Prabir Das managed the sport from the precise flank and virtually gave Kauko a blast into an open internet however his shot went over the crossbar virtually on the midway mark.
It was Das who arrange Williams with an extended ball and the latter introduced on his double as ATKMB regarded unstoppable.
The house staff led 2-0 on the break however may have scored at the very least a pair extra by then.