ATK go top after ending NorthEast’s unbeaten run

Goals from David Williams and Roy Krishna helped ATK FC beat NorthEast United FC by a 3-0 scoreline at the Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium in Guwahati on Saturday. It was also the Highlanders’ first loss of Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL) 2019-20 season. As for ATK, the three points lift them to the top of the points table after leapfrogging Bengaluru FC.

  • David Williams opened the scoring in the 11th minute to hand ATK the lead.
  • Roy Krishna doubled ATK’s advantage in the 35th minute.
  • Krishna made it 3-0 in added time to wrap up a commanding performance.

The home team got an early chance as Asamoah Gyan controlled a long ball by Lalthathanga Khawlhring inside the ATK box and managed a toe-poke at target. There was an element of luck in Arindam Bhattacharja’s save but was enough to keep the score at 0-0. The effort, however, turned out to be Gyan’s last notable involvement of the match as the Ghanaian had to be taken off due to an injury sustained during the attempt.

Minutes after Gyan walked off, things got worse for NorthEast as ATK took the lead courtesy a Williams header. The Australian made good use of his striker’s instincts and was in the right place at the right time to direct Prabir Das’ looping cross into the net. It was Williams’ fourth goal of the season.

The Highlanders tried their best to hit back but ATK kept carving out chances of their own from counters. Krishna tested Subhashish Roy midway through the half but the custodian’s outstretched leg averted further damage for the Highlanders. Seconds later, Agustin Iniguez found himself on the end of a corner but his header sailed over the crossbar.

The second goal would eventually come in the 35th minute. Williams set Krishna free with a through ball and the Fiji international turned Wayne Vaz to make room for a shot before slotting home his fifth goal of the campaign to extend ATK’s lead.

Javier Hernandez came close to making it 3-0 minutes later but saw his shot miss the far post by inches. The Highlanders, too, had an opportunity to pull one back before half-time but Arindam was vigilant and agile enough to parry away Panagiotis Triadis’ stinging shot from outside the box. The first-half eventually came to an end with ATK up by two goals.

Eight minutes after the restart, Krishna missed a sitter. ATK broke with pace and Williams squared the ball for Krishna to set up a goal on a plate. With Subhasish out of position, Krishna only needed to hit the target but miraculously missed an open goal.

The Highlanders tried to up the ante in an attempt to try and claw their way back into the game but Sehnaj Singh’s presence in midfield and some terrific defending by Agustin denied them any noteworthy chances. With the last quarter of the game approaching, Nikhil Kadam beat ATK’s offside trap and found himself with a free header on goal. The midfielder, however, couldn’t quite find the right connection. ATK tried to hit back almost immediately as Williams drew out a good save from Subhasish.

The Highlanders dominated possession for the final 15 minutes but lacked the cutting edge to really trouble the away side, who were defending in numbers in a bid to see the game off. Krishna scored again in the dying seconds for the second match running to wrap up a 3-0 win.

Hero of the Match – David Williams

David Williams scored the all-important opening goal of the match before setting up Krishna for ATK’s second. The Australian was a constant threat for the NorthEast defence and created a total of five chances in the tie, earning himself the Hero of the Match award. 

AWARDS

Club Award – ATK FC

Maruti Suzuki Limitless Player of the Match – Roy Krishna

DHL Winning Pass of the Match – Prabir Das

ISL Emerging Player of the Match – Lalthathanga Khawlhring

Hero of the Match – David Williams

Watch the match highlights here:

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