ATK Mohun Bagan rode on their Australian forward David Williams’ hat-trick to seal a spot in the main round of the AFC Cup 2022 with a 3-1 win over Abahani Limited Dhaka at the Salt Lake Stadium, Kolkata on Tuesday.
Daniel Colindres scored the solitary goal for the visitors in the 61st minute while David Williams scored a brace in the first half and found the back of the net in the 85th minute to bring up his hat-trick.
The Juan Ferrando-coached Indian Super League (ISL) side will join I-League champions Gokulam Kerala, Bashundhara Kings (Bangladesh) and Maziya Sports and Recreation (Maldives) in Group D of the AFC Cup main round.
ATK Mohun Bagan started the match confidently against six-time Bangladesh Premier League champions Abahani Limited Dhaka and got rewarded with their first attempt at the goal. David Williams converted a precise cross from Joni Kauko to put the home side in the lead.
ATK Mohun Bagan continued to dominate the ball and nine minutes later, Prabir Das provided the assist to David Williams, who doubled the lead for his team. The Australian forward had a chance to make it three in the first half itself but his shot was saved by Abahani Dhaka goalkeeper Shahidul Alam.
Abahani did create a handful of chances but the home side’s dominance in the midfield made sure ATK Mohun Bagan kept a clean slate going into the first half.
Both sides played an end-to-end game during the first 15 minutes of the second half.
Abahani Limited Dhaka’s persistent raids in the ATK Mohun Bagan’s half finally paid off in the 61st minute as Daniel Colindres scored from outside the box to get the visitors back in the match.
Abahani Limited Dhaka looked certain to equalise six minutes later but Juwel Rana shot it wide as ATKMB survived a major scare.
However, at the other end, David Williams found himself through on goal and kept composure to convert the opportunity and bring up his hat-trick in the 85th minute.
ATK Mohun Bagan will take on Gokulam Kerala in their AFC Cup Group D opener on May 18.