3-1Chennaiyin FC ISL 2019-20


Match Report – Javi Hernandez brace as ATK beat Chennaiyin FC to clinch third ISL title

ATK Post-Match Press Conference – Antonio Habas: I have to congratulate players for being fantastic all season

Chennaiyin FC Post-Match Press Conference – Owen Coyle: ATK were clinical and that’s why they are with the trophy 

Indian Players’ Ratings – ATK Vs Chennaiyin FC Ratings: Arindam’s heroics wins ISL title

Talking Points: ISL Final Talking Points: Keeping Thapa quiet the mantra for ATK?

Watch: ATK 3-1 Chennaiyin FC Highlights

For now, this is your host Tarkesh Jha signing off from the live text commentary of the ISL finale. We at Khel Now Football hope that you enjoyed our coverage of this Indian Super League season. Please do stay tuned for much more interesting updates and insights on Indian football in the coming times. Good Night!


Woof, what a night it was.

ATK sealed the ISL title in some style. In a style that they had become typical of them this season, with substance that has become attached with their manager. There just could not be any other substantial, fair result for tonight’s game. They were on it from the very offset. Scoring goals, creating chances, defending their goal with all their might. Right from Arindam at the back to David Williams upfront, each player stepped up with the kind of attitude, conduct and confidence that is prevalent amongst the champions, always. 

As for Owen Coyle’s team, they couldn’t get past the finishing mark tonight but as the team collectively looks back to a few months back, they have countless number of reasons to pat their back on signing off a campaign where they finish as the second-bests from a position when they were down and out at one point in time. They might have been outdone by ATK convincingly tonight, but if the Marina Machans are able to continue this kind of momentum onto the next season, there could be very few teams that could come in their way towards another promising ISL season. 

While the ATK can rejoice being the ISL Champions, their soon-joining partners Mohun Bagan have claimed the I-League title this season too. What would happen if the two primary champions, the two best clubs in Indian football would merge together to form a single entity? Well, it’s a stuff of dreams isn’t it? Not really. ATK emerged victorious tonight, and they have a bundle of reasons to be excited and to look forward to the future. Indian football is surely going to throw up some very interesting times soon…



ATK have lifted the trophy and the joy is there to be seen on the faces of each individual who has been associated with the team. The lightning bursts across as there are incredible reasons for the winners of India’s top-tier football club to celebrate. The coach celebrates as vehemently as the players do, as it brings the curtains down to another engaging season of the Indian Super League. 

And finally, the ATK players collect their ‘Champion’ medals accordingly and the captain takes the INR 8 crores cheque too.

Now, the Chennaiyin FC players collect their runners-up medals one-by-one for their incredible turnaround this season. The players look dejected but their have every bit of a reason to be proud of their performances this time around. Lucian Goian collects a cheque of INR 4  crores on behalf of the entire team. 

5: Finally, Hugo Boumous wins the HERO OF THE ISL SEASON award for playing an integral role in FC Goa’s run towards become the league-winners of this season of the ISL and accordingly securing an ACL Champions League spot too. Boumous sends across a video message to compensate for his absence!

4: Sumit Rathi wins the ISL Emerging Player of the Season awards and receives a cash award of INR 2,50,000 for the same. 

3: NERIJUS VALSKIS wins the Golden Boot award for scoring the most number of goals (15) in the ongoing season. 

2: Gurpreet Singh Sandhu, yet again, receives the Golden Glove award as he sends across a video message thanking his teammates for their hard-work and says that he cannot wait to be back on the field. 

1: Hugo Boumous wins the winning pass of the season award for recording the most number of assists this season. 


Here are some quotes from after the final whistle: 

Lucian Goain: “We had some sacrifice. We had some great results in the last few months. This is the reward. We feel very bad that we couldn’t win the final but we deserve to be in the final.”

Prabir Das: “What can I say? It is a big achievement for me as a player as I made my entry in the last year. They trusted me with the rehabilitation and the coaches and the players supported me and I could play all the matches. I will dedicate this trophy to my family.”

Abhishek Bacchann: First and foremost, congrats to ATK for a fantastic campaign. they come from a great footballing city and to be the first team to win three trophies and I would like to congratulate them on behalf of the entire Chennaiyin FC. I am immensely proud of my boys. In November to be at the bottom of the league and to be in the final now is fantastic. Owen has been fantastic, we hope he can be a part of the family.”






90+2′ ATK have had the upper hand by a fair margin in this game, and you cannot blame them as waste a bit of the time in the injury time to get that title which they richly deserve…

90′ Lucian Goian steps up, with his back towards the goal and tries to head the ball into the net. Arindam, as in the past 90 minutes, quickly marches ahead to get hold of the shot in time…

88′ Chennaiyin might be getting a bit frustrated as the clock ticks by, as Eli Sabia cynically brings down Edu Garcia who was in the perfect position to bag a brace towards the fag end of this game. Habas signals the referee to show Sabia a card and the defender is duly booked by the officials for this move. Garcia takes his own sweet time, lying down on the grass…perhaps getting further closer to the ISL trophy. 

86′ Crivellaro takes the corner, Johnson and Arindam demonstrates brilliant communication to coherently deal with the ball inside the box. The goalkeeper has been the star for ATK tonight, doing the dirty business of denying the opposition any goals as he continues to put his body into the line anytime a chance comes around to do so. 

83′ How many chances is Valskis going to take up tonight!? Man, the veteran striker got in between the two ATK defenders and made enough space to get an open header. He couldn’t nod the ball into the net though, as the direction was very wayward…Chennaiyin simply haven’t been able to do justice to the number of goal-scoring opportunities that they have created tonight. 

80′ AHHH DAVID WILLIAMS YOU BEAUT! Williams dropped as back as to the halfway line, collected the ball, deftly turned his back and released an elegant through-ball for Edu Garcia to chase. Vishal Kaith was alert to sprint ahead and clear off that pass and saved Chennaiyin the blushes again!

78′ Regardless of the amount of pressure that Chennaiyin are mounting upon the ATK, John Johnson’s terrific defending inside the box amidst the presence of Crivellaro and Valskis needs to be applauded. The man has been an absolute rock at the centre of the defensive half so far. 

75′ Ah, the short narratives that come and go missed amidst these chaos-filled events. Andre Schembri just ran his last on a football pitch, as the man has decided to his hang his boots after this encounter. Dragos Firtulesco replaces him on the field. Adios Schembri! It was a treat watching you play…

73′ Chennaiyin have got Habas thinking again, as the Spaniard cannot afford to lye down for even a minute note. Meanwhile, his team managed to trouble CFC’s defenders as Soosairaj put in a good low cross for Mandi but the latter could not manage to keep the ball down as his shot went way high up into the crowd..well, there’s no crowd. It went and smashed one of the seats probably. 

70′ The goal, well, was a result of Chennaiyin’s resilience. They haven’t been clinical, but they kept knocking the door through the two fullbacks, Renthlei and Jerry. The ball was moved between these wide-defenders and then a cross arrived from the left flank as Valskis stretched his right leg as far as he could to get at the end of that cross and clobber the ball into the back of the net in some style. 


67′ Habas is off to playing the tactical game now. ATK have blocked in the spaces excellently so far, and he aims to bring in further solidity deep inside the midfield by roping in Pronay Halder for Regin Michael. 

63′ Prabir Das is beaming with confidence, and that is visible as he goes ahead through the flanks, getting past a number of Chennaiyin players to at first put in a cross; but then switches his mind and tests Vishal Kaith through a powerful shot from an acute angle. The ball was palmed away for a corner but ATK continued to loom their threat through that too. Their presence as a collective unit have only grown in this game. Fantastic. 

62′ Owen Coyle is howling orders and instructions at his players now, maybe even demonstrating his displeasure over the sheer waywardness displayed by his players on many an instance. Renthlei had a chance to calmly build up a move as Valskis and Schembri positioned themselves inside the box. However, the right-back overhit his cross from a considerable distance…

58′ Chennaiyin FC have had the possession of the ball for 61% of the time as of now, but they are still behind in the game by a considerable margin. And if you are delving deep to look out reasons for the same, then do not. It is very simple. ATK have been clinical and strong-willed in front of the goal, whereas Chennaiyin has been everything but that…in a game of such a huge magnitude, the fine margins determine the big outcomes. It seems to be happening right now in Kolkata’s favor, unless there is another twist in the tale waiting for us in the final half an hour of the regular time. 

56′ Valskis chests down a cross from the left flank but Johnson put in a tough challenge on him through which the striker couldn’t get away. Renthlei attempted to recover the ball back into play but the ball is rollicked off outside. 

52′ There are not many teams that come back from a two-goal deficit in an occasion that is humongous this one. But, you can surely bet on Chennaiyin to spring a surprise or two if they just manage to show some poise near the box. Here again, Chhangte takes a long shot that flashes wide off the goalkeeper; a chance that they could have converted into a goal, but couldn’t…the story of this night so far for Owen Coyle’s team. 

49′ Elaborating on the goal, it was simple, concise and decisive. They nailed this move completely as David Williams received the ball and he set off Garcia on the run, who takes the most accurate position of the inner channel of the left wing and rolls the ball into the back of the net through a demeanor that rakes of sheer composure and cool-headedness. They deserve this advantage. They definitely do. 


46′ Chennaiyin set the tone for the second essay of the game. Long lateral pass for Renthlei, some one-touch passing by the CFC players where Schembri comes at the end of the final pass to try and shoot the ball in but the effort falls apart!

Let’s get the ball rolling. The second half of this brilliantly contested ISL finale is here! KICK OFF!


ATK go back in to their dugout seemingly satisfied with their early goal but the lead is just a bit too tender one for them to loosen their grip over the accelerator currently. Chennaiyin has created chances aplenty but the forwards have been completely unable to put the ball in and level the scoreline thus far. Nerijus Valskis has had almost three opportunities to bag a goal but the forward has fallen short each time. Rafael Crivellaro has been immense and at the centre of most of the Machans’s offensive moves. On the other hand, Roy Krishna brought ATK into the game within the first 10 minutes but how big an impact will his withdrawal from the field have on the game?

One can look forward to an equally or even more appealing second half. Join us on the other side very soon!

45+3′ Crivellaro displays seamless control over the ball to bring his teammates into play but Edwin Vanspaul was just too late to properly receive the pass as Javi Hernandez intercepted and then cleared the ball out whilst shouting off some orders probably to his fellow midfielders regarding positioning on the field…

44′ ATK have shown that the Chennaiyin defensive setup can be broken apart conveniently if the forwards show that elusive bit of calmness as they move nearer to the goal-post. Can ATK do that in the absence of Krishna though? Looks unlikely currently. However, Chhangte sends in a cross for Schembri but the latter was just too far away to nod the ball home convincingly. Meanwhile, Sumit Rathi seems to be in a bit of trouble with regards to a particular injury too…

41′ Crivellaro continues to test ATK’s backline, as he now squares out a pass for Renthlei after engaging a couple of defenders through his ball control. The right-back puts in a disappointing flat cross, through which Edu Garcia looks to run behind a through-ball on the left wing…but could not come out triumphant in the sprint. Only if ATK had Roy Krishna to carry out this typical move from the left flank here. Alas!

39′ Oh yes it’s true. Krishna’s campaign, a sublime one, comes to an end here. Mandi replaces him on the field. How do ATK adjust tactically without their captain. Oh God, you can see a tearful Roy Krishna, looking rather helpless as he settles down in the dugout. How big a figure he has been for this ATK team over the past six months? Huge. 

37′ The free-kick is abysmal, to say the least. ATK’s wall of players successfully intercept that to rob off Chennaiyin of a fairly good goal-scoring chance as once can see the sight of a disgruntled Owen Coyle on the touchline. AND WHAT ARE WE SEEING HERE? ATK’S talisman is set to be subbed off. ROY KRISHNA HAS PROBABLY PULLED HIS HAMSTRING! This is going to be a big moment in tonight’s match. 

34′ The players went out for a break for a couple of minutes. Jerry aims to commence Chennaiyin’s move forward and they are successful at marching near ATK’s box before Michael Regin rather rashly brings down Schembri almost thirty-five yards away from his team’s custodian. 

31′ Oh my what are we witnessing here? The players seem to be missing a bit of the composure as Rafael Crivellaro first puts in a free-kick that Andre Schembri tries to head in aptly. Arindam is alert enough to get his hand in between of the ball and the net. However, Crivellaro doesn’t give up as despite a flurry of players occupying the box, he displays his slick footwork to take a shot that once again does not end up into anything constructive for his team. The chase continues…

29′ THE CHANCES ARE THERE FOR THE TAKING! Only if Valskis could grab hold of them, eh!? His shot is palmed away as Arindam dives to his right very well. The striker drops back and then accelerates in yet again as he managed to get past a couple of defenders; sans a credible finish due to the lack of space!

27′ Chennaiyin charge forward, Valskis is the focal point of the offensive move as he dropped a shoulder, got off the shadows of his marker and thumped in the ball that is somehow intercepted by Arindam. The corner from CFC fails to result into anything notable as ATK break ahead after gaining control of the ball outside the box. 

24′ ATK BEING RELENTLESS HERE! Don’t let the quite stadium fool you, there’s plenty of action going around inside the field and ATK are at the centre of it here! David Williams led the move, with the ATK forwards crowding the box with their presence, hoping to somehow put the ball into the back of the net. Krishna’s effort is dealt well with Kaith but Javi Hernandez appears yet again with a brilliant shot that is cleared off near the goal-line to deny Habas’ men their second goal of the night!

22′ Ah as if CFC didn’t have an early problem already!? Germanpreet has to be taken off the field due to what seems like an injury on his ankle. The gaffer doesn’t ponder much time on it as Edwin Vanspaul comes in for the midfielder. 

20′ Chennaiyin manage to assert their presence, again through Thapa, as the diminutive midfielder lays out a pass for Jerry whose cross is headed in accurately by Chhangte. The lad managed to get over Sumit Rathi but couldn’t put in enough force behind his effort to really trouble the seasoned Arindam… 

18′ The Men in Blue have had an issue whilst chasing games this season and it remains to be seen whether a similar pattern ensues again. David Williams whacked in a pinpoint cross from the right flank but ATK didn’t have a man to capitalize on it inside the box. Chennaiyin break ahead on a counter through Chhangte but Crivellero fails to control the ball as it rolls out for an outside…

14′ Chennaiyin show good composure, with Thapa settling in the base of the midfield to move the ball to the flanks and start off an attacking pattern. However, ATK are quick to break the flow of the play with Krishna regularly drifting towards the left flank and inviting a long ball that could surpass Chennaiyin’s backline. 

11′ This has surely happened against the pace of the game. Chennaiyin were moving ahead, inch by inch, but an avoidable defensive mishap means that they find themselves behind in the game with 80 minutes still to go. ATK can surely not sit back and be complacent but they have drawn the first blood in this big finale!

9’  Chennaiyin seem to have a good control, with Jerry marching ahead in search of taking a shot but he refrained back and passed the ball sideways. Coyle’s men looked to move ahead but it is ATK who open the scoring as JAVI HERNANDEZ taps in the ball from a brilliant cross by Roy Krishna!! Goian was nowhere near Javi and Vishal Kaith is just left with too much to do! ADVANTAGE ATK!

6’ The match has begun exactly as we hoped for as ATK took a free-kick immediately after Chennaiyin’s attempt at goal. They failed to inspire a convincing move from the dead-ball and we are back to the midfield with both sets of players looking to recover the possession back.

3’ Jerry switches the ball back as Chennaiyin look to build on from the back as Anirudh Thapa covers the ground to reach the right-back slot. They move early on and oh my Nerijus Valskis hits the crossbar!!! Chennaiyin were clinical by piercing in the gaps but would have hoped for a better finish from their main man ahead!

1’ ATK start off the proceedings but Chennaiyin recover the ball back in the midfield and move ahead through the right-wing where Rafael Crivellero cuts back in the ball and CFC earn a corner early on. The ball is sent in and Prabir Das deals with it with a bit of disrupt inside the box for the side from Kolkata.

7:30 PM: Kick Off in Goa!

7:25- We are done with the national anthems and both the teams have greeted each other. Now, it is down to the serious business. Roy Krishna and Lucian Goian share a firm handshake, as the kickoff is merely a few minutes away now.

7:20- To go back to the semifinals, Chennaiyin had gotten past FC Goa by a 6-5 aggregate whilst ATK secured a 3-1 victory over Bengaluru FC over both the legs of the semifinals. The eyes would be firmly set on the likes of Roy Krishna, Anirudh Thapa, Lucian Goian and Prabir Das amidst others, but as we have often seen in the finals, it is very often the rookies who turn the game around on their heads. Are we in for something similar this time around?

7:15 PM: Both the teams have sent out their best-possible playing XI on the field tonight. Chennaiyin FC has been ruthless under Owen Coyle, whereas ATK has been commendably consistent. The momentum favors the Marina Machans tonight, for they have scripted a comeback tale that is set to be remembered for quite some time. But, only a novice could expect Antonio Habas to go down without giving a tough fight. Expect a truly end-to-end encounter, with both sides refusing to concede even an inch tonight. 

7:00 PM: Good evening folks! After a frenetic last few months, with numerous football matches, endless excitement and a thrilling set of two semifinals, we are down to where it matters the most. 

The finals of the ISL 2019/20 season is upon us! Yes, and we have the two most unlikely of teams from the top four battling it out for the coveted trophy tonight. Surely, the entire aura around the match must have dwindled due to the lack of fans. What is football all about if you desert the 22 men on the field of the fans who vehemently back them knowing no bounds? But such are the conditions that prevails around tonight that defying Bill Shankly’s vivid words, the league has laudably taken a call that is arguably for the greater good of society in general. The Fatorda tonight would be sans the thousands of fans flocking the flags and jerseys of both the finalists, and it all boils down to both groups of players now. How do they charge their inner selves without the decibel flouting noises from the stands? Well, when you have the glorious trophy awaiting you at the end of 120 minutes, the only motivation comes from within. Football might not be more serious that life and death, but it surely means a bloody lot for these players who are going to line up in front of us within a few minutes. Stay tuned, this is your host Tarkesh Jha and I will take you through the enthralling couple of hours that lies ahead of us…


Arindam Bhattacharya (GK), Sumit Rathi, John Johnson, Pritam Kotal, Prabir Das, Regin Michael, Javier Hernandez, Michael Soosairaj, Edu Garcia, David Williams, Roy Krishna (C)

Substitutes – 

Dheeraj Singh (GK), Victor Mongil, Armando Sosa Pena, Pronay Halder, Balwant Singh, Jobby Justin, Jayesh Rane

Chennaiyin FC –

Vishal Kaith (GK), Eli Sabia, Lucian Goian (C), Jerry Lalrinzuala, Laldinliana Renthlei, Germanpreet Singh, Lallianzuala Chhangte, Anirudh Thapa, Rafael Crivellaro, Nerijus Valskis, Andre Schembri

Substitutes –

Karanjit Singh (GK), Masih Saighani, Deepak Tangri, Dragos Firtulescu, Edwin Vanspaul, Thoi Singh, Rahim Ali


Welcome to live commentary of the final of ISL 2019-20 by Khel Now, where we bring you all the live action from Fatorda Stadium in Goa!

ATK Vs Chennaiyin FC Kick-Off: 7:30 PM IST

To read the pre-match press conferences, click here and here.

Antonio Habas on his side’s approach in the final

“In football, all the matches are different. The final is going to be different from a league match. It’s a different match, it’s to be or not to be. We just have to enjoy the match and the final. We don’t want to lose, very very simple.”

Owen Coyle on the pressure ahead of the final

“We are under pressure because we want to be champions because we’ve worked hard and we have got desire. The players are hungry for success and ATK will also be trying to win the game.”

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