ATK Mohun Bagan captain David Williams scored his first hat-trick of the season to help his team prevail over Abahani Dhaka 3-1 in the AFC Cup play-off match and progress to the group league stage of the tournament’s main round.
Egged on by a 32000 strong home support at Salt Lake Stadium on Tuesday, ATKMB dominated the proceedings and saw Willams putting the finishing touches to its attacks. The only reply from the visitor came from Costa Rican forward Daniel Colindres.
ATK Mohun Bagan found the rhythm right from the start and started probing the Abahani defence at regular intervals. It was only a matter of time before the host found the lead, which happened spectacularly in the sixth minute.
A quick series of passes on the left saw Liston Colaco releasing Joni Kauko deep inside the Abahani territory. The Finland international set up a pinpoint perfect cross for an advancing Williams, who went airborne to finish his volley.
ATKMB continued to pound the Abahani defence with more attacks and the visitor’s citadel fell for the second time in the 29th minute when Williams fooled his marker to brilliantly finish a cross from Prabir Das.
Williams had the chance to complete his hat-trick in the 35th minute when he was set unmarked on top of the Abahani box by a nice through-pass from Hugo Boumous. But the Australian fumbled this time, hitting his attempt straight at the Abahani goalkeeper Sahidul Alam.
The hat-trick finally materialised late in the 85th minute when Williams made no mistake with a lofted assist from Boumous. Abahani had narrowed the gap with Colindres’ goal in the 61st minute but the host managed to complete its dominance with Williams’ late goal.
The result: ATK Mohun Bagan 3 (Williams 6, 29, 85) bt Abahani Dhaka 1 (Colindres 61)