AS ATK AND KBFC played out an uninspiring 1-1 draw between themselves, 3 other ISL teams were watching eagerly; and they were left disappointed.
The draw between the 2014 champions and finalists meant that both teams' points tallies went up to 19 from 13 games. This officially knocked out Pune City and Chennaiyin FC, both on 15 points from 13 games, out of the ISL 2016 semi-final race. They will now join the ranks of FC Goa who fell out of the race a few days ago.
For Pune City it's a third straight year without a place in the playoffs. For defending champions Chennaiyin FC, it's the first time they have finished below top four.
The other team looking eagerly at this contest was NorthEast United. The Guwahati-based franchise, which is on 15 points from 12 games, is struggling to qualify for its first ever playoff appearance. But this draw made the battle more difficult. Now, they have to win both their remaining games, against Delhi Dynamos and Kerala Blasters, to knock out KBFC from the fourth place and enter the playoffs. This essentially turned tomorrow's match against Delhi a pre-quarter final for the Highlanders.
With Mumbai City and Delhi Dynamos already through, Atletico de Kolkata became the third team to seal their place in the playoffs tonight. At this point Kerala Blasters are the overwhelming favourites to become the fourth team to enter the semis.