Bhubaneswar, Apr 11: Chennaiyin FC defeated arch-rivals ATK 2-0 in the second semi-final here at the Kalinga Stadium to enter the final of the Hero Super Cup. Now, John Gregory’s men will face FC Goa for the title on April 13.On Tuesday, FC Goa thrashed I-League 2018-19 champions Chennai City FC 3-0 in the first semi-final. On Wednesday, after first-half ended goalless, Chennaiyin's CK Vineeth scored through a header in the 50th minute to break the deadlock and put his team in the lead.
In the 58th minute, Anirudh Thapa scored match's second goal with his left foot, taking his team's goal tally to 2-0. After trailing by 2-0, ATK head coach Steve Coppell made two changes, bringing in Everton Santos and Ankit Mukherjee in place of Edu Garcia and Pritam Kotal, respectively.
During the last 20-minute, he made final change in the form of Hitesh Sharma for Jayesh Rane. However, Chennaiyin kept their defence intact and emerged victorious. Expressing his happiness at the post-match press conference, Chennaiyin English head coach John Gregory said, "I feel this was our most complete performance this season. It was very pleasing on the eye and we were really tough to play against, like the Chennaiyin from last season. We had the right kind of balance today. We dominated from start to finish. It is a huge opportunity now for us to end the season with a trophy."
Talking about the final, the coach said, "FC Goa are having a great season and are one of the most consistent sides in the country right now. We look forward to meeting them in the final."
Thapa was adjudged Man of the Match. Dedicating his performance to fans, he said, "We implemented our training well. That's what I have tried to do that. After the Hero ISL season we had, we owed it to the fans to do well in the Super Cup. We are very happy to be in the final. This is for the fans." Expressing his disappointment, ATK Head Coach said, "I knew it would be a really close game. They had a little bit more size in midfield than we anticipated. I thought they would either play (Dhanpal) Ganesh or (Christopher) Herd. When I saw them start with both, I knew that it would make it a little bit more difficult for Manuel Lanzarote and Edu Garcia. And that proved to be the case. We didn’t get a flow in our play." Earlier, the Chennaiyin FC team finished last in the recently concluded 10-team Indian Super League (ISL). (UNI)