Sunday, June 4, 2023

Hero ISL 2020-21: ATK Mohun Bagan roped in 3 crucial points against Northeast United FC in a game of physical affair

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It was the most-wanted start to the year for Antonio Lopez Habas’ ATK Mohun Bagan

They snatched 3 crucial points in a comfortable 2-0 win against the Highlanders at the Fatorda stadium with ATK Mohun Bagan’s Fijian star, Roy Krishna breaking the deadlock and, Highlanders’ captain, Benjamin Lambot scoring an own goal. This win also the Green and Maroons reclaim the top spot in the league table, displacing Mumbai City FC. In a match that often turned into a physical affair as six yellow cards were handed out, a seven-minute double early in the second half settled things in favour of the Kolkata outfit.

Antonio Lopez Habas made two changes to his lineup with SK Sahil making his first ever Hero ISL start. NEUFC coach Gerard Nus changed things around with five changes to his line-up. It was the Kolkata side who started brighter, keeping the possession and looking more threatening of the two teams. However, they struggled to convert the control they had over the match into chances with NEUFC offering dogged resistance.

They had a free-kick in a threatening position during the 18th minute when Krishna was fouled by Dylan Fox just outside the penalty area. The resulting cross though was headed over the bar by Carl McHugh. Prabir Das was one of the star performers for ATK Mohun Bagan in a barren half, proving to be an important attacking outlet by playing high up the pitch.

Just before the half-hour mark, Krishna spotted Prabir in a dangerous position and nearly found him only for NEUFC keeper Gurmeet Singh to make the save. Then, just before the half-hour mark, Prabir Das headed wide from a cross launched by Subhasish Bose. Both teams were unable to break the deadlock in a goalless stalemate at half-time but the script turned on its head post the restart.

It was Krishna yet again, who broke the deadlock, heading in after Tiri flicked on a corner from Edu Garcia. Just seven minutes later, the Green and Maroons doubled their lead, this time off another corner. Lambot tried to deal with another Garcia delivery, only to inadvertently divert it into his own box.

The best attempt on goal came in the 71st minute when Federico Gallego grazed the crossbar with a free-kick. That was the only shot on target throughout the match and was a testament to how comfortably ATK Mohun Bagan were able to see out the second half.

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