The Spaniard is now focussed on starting afresh in the semi-finals…

Atlético de Kolkata head coach Jose Molina had mixed emotions following his team’s 0-0 draw against FC Pune City at the Rabindra Sarobar Stadium on Friday evening. With 20 points from 14 games, ATK remained third in the standings and will now have to wait for the result of the Kerala Blasters FC-NorthEast United FC game on Sunday to see where they finish in the top 4 having already sealed a place in the semis.

Analysing his team’s performance on the night, Molina said, “I think it was a great match and we rested some of the players thinking of the semi-finals and because I also wanted to give other players a chance and Ofentse Nato, Bidyananda Singh, Dani Mallo and Abinash Ruidas played really well. I think we dominated the match, we had possession and created chances and I am happy with the performance. But I am sad about the result,” Molina told reporters after the game.

ATK forward Juan Belencoso had a bad day at the office and failed to convert some good opportunities. However, Molina had no complaints from his Spanish striker. “We had a lot of chances and I thought the goals would come and Belencoso did well. I understand everybody thinks he should have scored as he had good chances but he did a great job and I am happy,” he said.

It was a fifth draw for ATK at home this season. When asked if it was bothersome for the team ahead of the semis, Molina said, “Yes it is not good, absolutely not good. In seven matches only one victory but I think we had chances in those matches which we did not win and I think we played well in them, and right now the most important thing is that we are going to play the semi-finals and it is a new beginning and now we are going to try to score more goals and play better. We are going to keep working in the same way and trying to improve to make it to the final.”

With the draw on Friday, ATK are now highly unlikely to finish second and that means they will have to play their first leg of the semis away from home. Molina, however, played down that factor. “I think that is not the key, and it is not important. To play away or at home, it is the same for me and we are happy to play here, and it does not matter if it is the first or second match here,” he said.

Report by Khel Now Correspondent Kushankur Rony Rakshit. Sports passionate and content writer. He is big football and cricket fan.