Atletico de Kolkata (ATK) sealed qualification for the last four for the third successive season, effectively the only team to do so, with a 1-1 draw at home against Kerala Blasters in their last match. That result also allowed Delhi Dynamos to confirm their place alongside Kolkata and Mumbai City FC, while nudging Kerala a step closer to the top four at the end of the season.
With Pune City mathematically unable to make the playoffs anymore, as they are four points behind the Kerala Blasters in fourth place with one match left to play, the focus of this match is all on Atlético de Kolkata. “We want to win this game as well. We will try and win this game, possibly by giving chance to some players (who didn’t feature earlier). They are working well and did not get too many opportunities to play. I have a confidence in them. They can play,” said ATK coach, Molina.
Although it’s a grudge match between the two sides, with Pune boss Antonio Habas returning to ATK for the first time since departing them in April 2016 after winning the 2014 ISL, it’s inconsequential as ATK have already secured their spot in the playoff semifinal. The Stallions, on the other hand, are coming from a 2-1 defeat at the hands of Kerala Blasters FC and that, coupled with Kolkata’s draw, confirmed their exit from this year’s league. “For me, prior to the kick-off, this match will be special but once the match starts, there will be nothing special,” said Habas during the pre-match media briefing.
Atlético de Kolkata: Debjit Majumder, Dani Mallo, Shilton Paul, Arnab Mondal, Henrique Fonseca Sereno, Jose Arroyo, Keegan Pereira, Kinshuk Debnath, Prabir Das, Pritam Kotal, Robert Lalthamuana, Abinash Ruidas, Bidyananda Singh, Bikash Jairu, Bikramjit Singh, Borja Fernandez, Javi Lara, Jewel Raja, Lalrindika Ralte, Ofentse Nato, Sameehg Doutie, Stephen Pearson, Helder Postiga, Ian Hume, Juan Belencoso
FC Pune City: Edel Bete, Arindam Bhattacharya, Vishal Kaith, Zodingliana Ralte, Vishal Kaith, Rahul Bheke, Yumnam Raju, Narayan Das, Augustine Fernandes, Dharmaraj Ravanan, Eduardo Ferreira, Gouramangi Singh, Arata Izumi, Jonathan Lucca, Francis Fernandes, Bruno Arias, Josep María Comadevall Crous (Pitu), Lenny Rodrigues, Momar Ndoye, Sanju Pradhan, Anibal Zurdo Rodriguez, Gustavo Oberman, Jesus Rodriguez Tato, Eugeneson Lyngdoh