ATK trump Bengaluru in Christmas Day humdinger

ATK FC picked up three valuable points after beating Bengaluru FC 1-0 in an entertaining encounter at the Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan in Kolkata on Christmas Day. The win helps Antonio Lopez Habas’ men leapfrog the defending champions and FC Goa to go top of the Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL) 2019-20 table.

Both ATK and Goa are on 18 points, with the former edging out the Gaurs by virtue of goal difference. Goa, however, have a game in hand and will be in action on Thursday.

  • The first half ended goalless.
  • David Williams scored in the 47th minute to give ATK the lead and eventually the win.

The home team made an explosive start and could have taken the lead within two minutes of kick-off as Williams played in Roy Krishna with a delightful lobbed through ball. The Hero ISL 2019-20’s leading goal scorer only had Gurpreet Singh Sandhu to beat but could only find the side netting. Minutes later, the Fijian international almost caught Gurpreet cold in possession but the Bengaluru custodian somehow managed to clear the danger.

As the match progressed, Bengaluru started shading possession but ATK looked the more decisive side going forward. The narrative, however, changed somewhat post the twenty minute mark as Udanta Singh’s pace and Dimas Delgado’s guile on the ball started creating a few problems for the three-man ATK backline.

The highly-entertaining half eventually ended with the two heavyweights deadlocked at 0-0.

ATK didn’t have to wait long after the restart to disturb the stalemate. Jayesh Rane did well to recycle the ball at the edge of the box and poke it toward Williams. The Australian took a touch and fired it past Gurpreet from nineteen yards out to make it 1-0.

Bengaluru tried to hit back promptly and upped the ante in the final third, opening up the game. Delgado had a big opportunity on the hour mark after a deflected cross fell kindly for him inside the ATK box. The midfielder though dragged his shot wide.

The two sides went on trading chances and Krishna even got the ball into the net in the 80th minute. The strike, however, was ruled out due to offside. The Blues threw everything they had in an attempt to salvage something out of the game but the home side held strong to register their first-ever win and point against Bengaluru FC in the Hero ISL.

Hero of the Match – David Williams

The Australian striker was ATK’s lynchpin on the night, linking up play exquisitely throughout the match and his stunning second half goal also turned out to be the decider in the crunch tie. He was adjudged the Hero of the Match.

AWARDS

Club Award – ATK

Maruti Suzuki Limitless Player of the Match – Prabir Das

DHL Winning Pass of the Match – Jayesh Rane

ISL Emerging Player of the Match – Sumit Rathi

Hero of the Match – David Williams

Watch the match highlights here:

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