ATK Mohun Bagan continued their all-win start in the 2020-21 Indian Super League (ISL) after a narrow victory against Odisha in their third season match at Fatorda Stadium on Thursday.
The teams fought toe to toe right up until Roy Krishna’s header decided the fate of the game at the last minute.
Antonio Lopez Habas and Stuart Baxter made a change in each row. Manvir Singh replaced David Williams and Diego Mauricio came in for Manuel Onwu for ATK Mohun Bagan and Odisha respectively.
The first big goal-scoring chance fell to Roy Krishna in the 24th minute when he found himself one-on-one with Kamaljit Singh after receiving a long ball from Tiri inside the Odisha field. The Fijian blew the ball over the crossbar.
The easiest chance of the half was wasted by Jacob Tratt in the 35th minute. Premjit Singh played a short corner to Marcelinho who found Cole Alexander at the edge of the box. Alexander sent a cross into the box to Tratt, who headed past with an empty net available.
The first half was a cagey affair and an evenly clear competition as both teams adopted a safety-first approach.
ATK’s Mohun Bagan was shown a yellow card for standing over the ball and blocking an opponent’s quick free kick after 50 minutes. The referee signaled a penalty for the home team after 80 minutes, amid vocal protests from the visitors.
After 56 minutes, Prabir Das made a dash down the middle past the away team’s defenders to score the target. The ball hit Manvir on his left arm and fell to Cole Alexander, who mistakenly headed the ball into his own net. Manvir was penalized for a handball and the own goal was annulled.
The Kolkata giants shifted gears and commanded procedures but were unable to create cheats in the attacking third.
But sailors eventually broke the deadlock and sealed the fate of the game at the last minute, and Roy Krishna once again proved to be their savior. After 26 minutes, Tiri sent a free kick in high over the penalty box. Sandesh Jhingan headed the ball into the middle from the right side. Krishna climbed over Alexander and found the back of the net with a glance at his head.