Kolkata, Dec 18 (IANS) India centre-back Arnab Mondal rued not being part of Atletico de Kolkata (ATK)’s celebrations after they won their second Indian Super League (ISL) title by beating Kerala Blasters 4-3 on penalties on Sunday.
The match ended 1-1 after regulation time with man of the match Henrique Sereno (44th) and Mohammed Rafi (37th) scoring for ATK and Kerala respectively in the first half.
Speaking exclusively to IANS moments after the match, the tall defender who picked up an injury just before the semi-final first leg and is likely to be out for at least another month, said: “I want to jump on a plane and join my teammates in Kochi.”
“I feel so with them at the moment. It’s an amazing win keeping in mind the effort we put in throughout the tournament,” said Mondal who has been an important cog in the city franchise’s wheel.
Asked to name the key moments in the season, the local lad underlined two away league games against NorthEast United FC and FC Goa where the team rallied from a goal down to win.
“In the NorthEast match the way we came back was phenomenal. We were so charged up as a unit that day. That match brought us together. Then the FC Goa match where (Stephen) Pearson scored in the last minute to clinch all three points.
“These are vital wins which helped us reach the knockout stages which the coach (Jose Molina) always said is vital and our only aim,” Mondal said.
Toeing marquee player Helder Postiga, Mondal also felt ‘team unity’ was their success mantra.
“We are a wonderfully knit team. No one is a celebrity in the team and all are equal. Team unity is the secret to our success.”