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Nato and Atletico make ISL history

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BONGANI MALUNGA

Ofentse Nato’s Atletico de Kolkata has made Indian Super League history by becoming the first team to qualify for three consecutive post season semifinals in the Indian league. The club clinched their semifinal berth with a 0-0 draw against FC Pune City, a game in which Nato made his first start of the season.
Atletico are now going to be involved in their third post season championship playoffs since the competition started in 2014; they were the champions in the inaugural edition and lost in the semifinals the following year and this year they are aiming to reclaim their crown.
To date, Nato has made three appearances and could be in line for a regular role in the post season games. Atletico will face Mumbai City in a two legged semifinal tie, the first leg will be played on Saturday while the return leg will be on Tuesday. Mumbai boasts the best record in the regular season, they were the top seeded team heading into the playoffs.
They are also armed with the scoring prowess of one Diego Forlan, a marksman who has banged in the goals throughout his career. Forlan is currently one of the top scorers in the ISL with five goals so far this season and will pose a major threat to Atletico’s title chances.
Mumbai enjoyed a better head to head record against Atletico during the regular season, the sides drew 1-1 in the first round, then Mumbai recorded a 1-0 win over Nato’s club a few weeks ago. Despite being the favourites for the tie, Mumbai are not as experienced as Atletico at this stage of the season, they will be making their first ever post season adventure. Atletico had an indifferent spell during the regular season but they always save their best form for the playoffs and Nato and his teammates will be hoping for more of the same.

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