ATK Mohun Bagan got a deserved 3-1 victory over NorthEast United FC at the PJN Stadium in Margao, Goa in the Hero Indian Super League (ISL) to give their semi-final chances a huge boost.

Suhair Vadakkepeedika (17’) put Khalid Jamil’s side in the lead but first-half goals by Joni Kauko (22’) and Liston Colaco (45’) ensured that the Mariners went into the break in the lead. Manvir Singh’s (52’) goal in the second half sealed the victory in ATKMB’s favour. 

The match started off in explosive style. The first chance of the game came in the 10th minute and fell to Manvir who was through on goal but failed to convert the opportunity.

A couple of minutes later, Manvir had another opportunity to score, but his shot was not on target.

In the 15th minute, ATK Mohun Bagan had a three-on-one advantage in attack and they were certain to score their first goal of the match, but a wayward cross allowed the NEUFC defense to recover. The Mariners paid for missing this chance, as Suhair Vadakkepeedika slotted the ball into the back of the net from the edge of the box at the other end.

But, Juan Ferrando’s side came back fighting. Minutes after conceding, Joni Kauko took matters into his own hands and equalized the score.

In the 42nd minute, Manvir had another chance but again, his shot was saved by Subhasish Roy.

ATKMB completed the comeback in the first half itself. Kauko took the ball from midfield and found Colaco with a perfectly placed pass, and Colaco finished the ball into the bottom right corner, just before the end of the first half.

The Kolkata-based side came out firing in the second half. Manvir got his well-deserved goal in the 52nd minute of the match. Colaco played a delicate pass to Singh who shot past Subhasish Roy.

Later, Pragyan Gogoi tried to score from a long-range effort for NorthEast United FC but it was not on target.

ATKMB controlled the game throughout the second half and limited the chances for Khalid Jamil’s team.

In the dying embers of the game, Hernan Santana had a chance to bring the Highlanders back into the game, but his shot went just over the crossbar.

The Mariners saw out the rest of the match and got a much-needed victory.

This result takes them to 2nd in the Hero ISL table and they are just three points behind first-place Hyderabad FC. While NorthEast United FC remain at the bottom of the league table with only 10 points.

Click here to see the 2021-22 Hero ISL standings

The Guwahati-based outfit next takes on Bengaluru FC on Friday and ATK Mohun Bagan will lock horns with FC Goa on Tuesday, in what is set to be an important clash in deciding the semi-final spots.

Click here to see the 2021-22 Hero ISL fixtures