MARGAO, March 13: ATK and Chennaiyin FC will seek a hat-trick of ISL titles here on Saturday when they meet in the 6th edition�s final, which will be played without spectators owing to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The season has been a landmark one in many ways. While it has produced high quality football, the sport�s governing body AIFF has granted ISL the top-tier domestic competition status.
The league phase winners of the ISL, FC Goa will become the first Indian side to directly play in the group stage of the AFC Champions League, the top club league of Asia.
ATK (2014 and 2016) and Chennaiyin (2015 and 2017-18) have both won the ISL twice already and are looking to become the first side to win it three times.
The two teams were brilliant in the play-offs with Chennaiyin getting the better of FC Goa in a thrilling two-legged tie that finished 6-5 on aggregates, while ATK produced a second leg turnaround to send defending champions Bengaluru FC packing with a 3-2 win on aggregate.
This is the first time that these two clubs are meeting each other in the final. Interestingly, neither club has lost an ISL final � a run that will end for one of them on Saturday.
The two sides are also on equal footing this season. In the league stages, ATK defeated Chennaiyin in Chennai before the team from the south returned the favour in Kolkata.
While ATK have been one of the most consistent sides this season, Chennaiyin were left to produce a miracle to reach this stage after Owen Coyle took charge of them at the start of last December. � PTI