KOLKATA, Dec. 16: It was all over for defending champion Atletico de Kolkata. Putting up a spirited fightback in the second semifinals of the Hero Indian Super League, the home side failed to break down the Chennaiyin FC�s rock-solid defence after dominating the match thoroughly at the Salt Lake Stadium here on Wednesday.
The 2-1 result enabled Chennaiyin to advance to their maiden final against another first-timers, FC Goa with a two-leg aggregate of 4-2. The season 2�s summit clash will be played on Sunday.
There was drama a plenty with the players indulging in rough play. The Japanese referee Yudai Yamamoto booked a few but missed some thus allowing the game to turn ugly at times. At the fag end of the game, the ATK coach Antonio Habas was evicted from the field for questioning the linesman.
The match was entertaining and keenly fought with the home side dominating the show. ATK�s second goal (86th minute) was an outstanding effort from Iain Hume whose left-footed volley off Lekic�s assist stood out among the three goals.
As the ATK players upped the ante, Chennaiyin�s substitute Fikru scored two minutes inside the injury time to leave the ATK supporters shattered.
Needing to overturn the 0-3 loss in the first leg, ATK went all out in the first half. Speed and positional play marked ATK�s play as it dominated the exchanges with aplomb. Chennaiyin FC were not pushovers as they made some inroads into the rival territory. A Mendoza shot was fisted away by Amrinder.
A couple of sharp chances came ATK�s way before the goal in the 21st minute. Serbian Dajen Lekic, who started the match for the first time this season, gave the home side the lead with an opportunistic goal. What looked like a simple back pass by Elano to Mendy turned out to be the God sent opening for Lekic. Mendy tried to head the ball to goalkeeper Bete. Before the Cameroonian could collect the ball, Lekic toed it home amidst thunderous cheers from the season�s highest gathering.
The home team continued to press hard for goals in the earlier half but Bete stood the test well.
Both teams have made a couple of changes. Elano and Mehrajuddin Wadoo returned to the starting line-up of Chennaiyin FC. ATK gave Dejan Lekic and Mohanraj a start while Nato and Borja Fernandez missed out due to injuries.