Key battles to watch out for in ATK Mohun Bagan-NorthEast United FC second-leg semi-final

NorthEast United FC will be vying for their first-ever Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL) final when they face ATK Mohun Bagan in the second leg of Semi-final 2 at the Fatorda Stadium on Tuesday. The Highlanders are currently on a 11-match unbeaten run and head into the clash after a 1-1 draw following an injury-time equaliser in the first leg. ATK Mohun Bagan, meanwhile, will be looking for their first win in three games as they look to put the disappointment of conceding a stoppage-time leveller in the first leg behind them and here’s a closer look at some of the key battles ahead of Tuesday’s clash. The winners of the contest will play Mumbai City FC in the final, who beat FC Goa 6-5 on penalties on Monday night.

David Williams vs Khassa Camara

David Williams showed how he likes to perform on the biggest of stages by scoring ATK Mohun Bagan’s only goal in the first leg. The Australian attacker hasn’t had the most prolific campaign in terms of goals scored but his ability to perform in clutch situations was demonstrated in his side’s last outing. He will once again be a major threat in the second leg against NorthEast United FC and will have to be marked tightly by Khassa Camara, who has performed brilliantly in midfield for the Highlanders all season. Camara’s ability to sense danger and thwart attacks from his defensive midfield role has been second to none among players in his position this campaign.

Lenny Rodrigues vs Federico Gallego

Like Camara for NorthEast United FC, Lenny Rodrigues will be entrusted with shielding ATK Mohun Bagan backline in the second leg. Lenny demonstrated his qualities in the first leg as he made it difficult for the Highlanders’ attack-minded players. NorthEast United FC’s chief playmaker Federico Gallego also found it hard to make things happen as Lenny denied him time and space with the ball at his feet. The Uruguayan though will be eager to do better in the second leg and contribute in the final-third as he looks to add to his tally of four goals and six assists this season. He’s already scored once against the Mariners in Hero ISL 2020-21 and will love to be on the scoresheet again come Tuesday.

Roy Krishna vs Luis Machado

Roy Krishna has not found the back of the net in his last three outings and the Fijian will want to end his mini goal-drought against the Highlanders. He has scored twice against NorthEast United FC this season and will be keen to get on the scoresheet on Tuesday as ATK Mohun Bagan target an appearance in the final in their first-ever Hero ISL campaign. Similarly, Luis Machado will want to fire his side to a first-ever Hero ISL final. The Portuguese forward may not have been as prolific in front of goal as Krishna, but he’s scored some crucial strikes for the Highlanders over the course of the campaign. Machado, in fact, scored against the Mariners earlier in the season and will be eager to make his presence felt in the second leg.

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