ATK topple Goa in Kolkata to take over the top spot
ATK FC beat FC Goa 2-0 at the Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan in Kolkata on Saturday and took over the top spot in the Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL) 2019-20 table after displacing their opponents of the night from the summit. Both teams are now on 24 points after 13 matches, but ATK have a marginally superior goal difference.
- Pritam Kotal put ATK in front in the 47th minute after the first half ended goalless.
- Jayesh Rane wrapped up the affair for ATK with the second goal of the match in the 88th minute.
The two sides showed plenty of attacking intent in the initial phases, with both sides coming close to scoring. ATK’s Javier Hernandez saw his early shot go wide while the Gaurs hit the side-netting twice within the opening 15 minutes. The visitors also had a penalty appeal turned down after Sumit Rathi’s challenge on Ferran Corominas inside the ATK box.
A fantastic run down the flank from @manvir_singh07 but he fails to add the finishing touch to his shot!— Indian Super League (@IndSuperLeague) January 18, 2020
Watch #ATKFCG LIVE on @hotstartweets - https://t.co/fJFNHgPeHN and JioTV. #ISLMoments #HeroISL #LetsFootball pic.twitter.com/d1IK0aabzg
As the match progressed, it was the Gaurs who managed to get a foothold on the game with their quick passing.
In the 25th minute, Jobby Justin had an opportunity to score for ATK after he rose the highest to meet a corner. The striker’s connection, however, wasn’t quite right and went straight to Goa custodian Mohamad Nawaz.
The rest of the half witnessed a high-intensity affair with both sides pressing high for the ball, but clear-cut chances were few and far between. The two teams went into the break deadlocked at 0-0.
Two minutes into the restart, however, ATK took the lead through Pritam Kotal. A well-worked set piece ended up with Roy Krishna on the byline and the Fiji international chipped the ball delicately for an unmarked Kotal inside the box. The right-back’s header had too much power behind it and despite Nawaz getting a hand to it, the ball found its way inside the goal.
Runs in from the defence and accurately heads home 💪@KotalPritam with @ATKFC's opener!— Indian Super League (@IndSuperLeague) January 18, 2020
Watch #ATKFCG LIVE on @hotstartweets - https://t.co/fJFNHgPeHN and JioTV. #ISLMoments #HeroISL #LetsFootball pic.twitter.com/gNwGYIjUBv
The opener spurred ATK on as the hosts started looking a lot more threatening and enjoyed a phase of dominance. Krishna hit the side netting before Hernandez squandered a golden opportunity to make it 2-0 after some good work by Jobby on the flanks. The tide, however, turned around the hour mark as the Gaurs shifted gears.
They could have drawn level in the 66th minute as Ahmed Jahouh’s cross from the deep looked destined for an unmarked Manvir Singh inside the ATK box. ATK goalkeeper Arindam Bhattacharja rushed out just in time to clear the danger. Minutes later, Arindam was called into action yet again, this time, keeping out Seiminlen Doungel’s shot from close range.
As the clock ticked down, the Gaurs piled on the pressure in search of the equaliser, with Hugo Boumous, in particular, proving to be a menace for the ATK defence.
Against the run of play, ATK could have made it 2-0 at the 80-minute mark. Krishna did brilliantly to control a long pass and set up Jayesh Rane for a tap in with a fabulous cutback. The ATK midfielder only needed to guide the ball into the empty net but ended up skying his effort from almost point-black range. Seven minutes later, Krishna again pulled off something similar and found Rane with another cutback. This time, however, the 26-year-old made no mistakes and slotted in to make it 2-0 for the hosts to secure the win.
Hero of the Match – Pritam Kotal
Kotal not only grabbed the all-important first goal of the match to put ATK in front early in the second half, but also put in a brilliant shift at the back, finishing the match with six clearances and one block. He was adjudged the Hero of the Match.
Club Award – ATK FC
Maruti Suzuki Limitless Player of the Match – Roy Krishna
DHL Winning Pass of the Match – Roy Krishna
ISL Emerging Player of the Match – Sumit Rathi
Hero of the Match – Pritam Kotal
Watch the match highlights here: