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ISL: ATKMB beat NE 2-0; return to top

ISL: ATKMB beat NE 2-0; return to top
ATK Mohun Bagan players celebrate a goal against NorthEast United on Sunday. (ISL)
New Delhi/ Bambolim (Goa), Jan 3 (Agencies/IANS) | Publish Date: 1/3/2021 12:18:47 PM IST

ATK Mohun Bagan continued their fine run in the Indian Super League  2020-21 with a comfortable 2-0 victory over NorthEast United FC at the Fatorda Stadium, Goa on Sunday. With this win, ATKMB reclaimed the top spot ahead of Mumbai City FC.

In a match that often turned into a physical affair — six yellow cards were handed out — a seven-minute double early in the second half settled things in favour of the Kolkata outfit. Fijian striker Roy Krishna scored his first goal from open play in nearly a month in the 51st minute. Soon, in the 58th minute, an own-goal from Benjamin Lambot increased ATKMB’s lead.

It was ATKMB who started brighter, keeping the ball and looking the 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 bright sparks for ATKMB 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, Das headed wide from a cross by Subhasish Bose.

Both teams went in locked 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, ATKMB 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 Highlanders were further pegged back by the goal and struggled to fashion clear-cut chances. Their best attempt on goal came in the 71st minute when Federico Gallego grazed the crossbar with a freekick. That they only had a single shot on target throughout the match was testament to how comfortably ATKMB were able to see out the second half.

East Bengal record first ISL win

East Bengal finally recorded their first win in the Indian Super League (ISL) by beating Odisha FC 3-1 on Sunday at the GMC Stadium.

First-half goals from Anthony Pilkington and Jacques Maghoma put East Bengal ahead before substitute Bright Enobakhare scored late on his ISL debut. Diego Mauricio’s goal proved to be a consolation as Odisha saw their winless run continue.

Mauricio’s goal was the 100th goal of the ongoing season of the ISL.

The opening goal arrived early in the 12th minute, through a set-piece. Gaikwad took a throw-in and directed it to the far post. It bounced once and fell to Pilkington, who rose above Gaurav Bora, before burying his header into the net.

Chances also fell Odisha’s way but stunning back-to-back saves from goalkeeper Debjit Majumder helped East Bengal keep their lead intact during the first quarter. A lightning strike from Maghoma helped East Bengal double their advantage in the dying minutes of the first half. 

Odisha began the second half strong, hoping to cut short their deficit. They came close to scoring but luck evaded them. 

Enobakhare put the game to bed with his second attempt after being denied the first time by Arshdeep. Two minutes later, Odisha found the net, but in the end, it proved to be too little too late.

MONDAY’S MATCH 

Chennainyin FC Vs Hyderabad 7:30 pm 

 

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