Semi-final 2, Second-leg Preview: ATK Mohun Bagan face NorthEast United FC as both sides eye maiden Hero ISL final appearance

The second leg of Semi-final 2 of Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL) 2020-21 will see ATK Mohun Bagan square off against NorthEast United FC at the Fatorda Stadium on Tuesday. The first leg between the teams ended in a 1-1 draw as the Highlanders scored a late equaliser to make it all to play for in the second leg. The two sides have met each other thrice so far with both teams winning once besides the draw in the first leg.

The Mariners though will be eager to make things right after conceding in injury-time against NorthEast United FC in the last game. They haven’t won any of their last three matches but will back themselves to get the better of the Highlanders with a spot in the final of Hero ISL 2020-21 at stake.

Their normally reliable defence – which is the best in the league in terms of goals conceded – will have to be on top of their game. They haven’t kept a clean sheet in their last four encounters and will be keen to get back to being exceptionally solid against a confident NorthEast United FC.

As far as their attack is concerned, head coach Antonio Lopez Habas will want his big guns to rise to the challenge and be counted in the second leg. Roy Krishna, ATK Mohun Bagan’s leading scorer with 14 goals, hasn’t found the back of the net in his last three outings and the Fijian will want to buck that trend against the Highlanders. David Williams, who scored in the opening leg against NorthEast United FC, will be another attacking threat. Marcelo Pereira and Manvir Singh are two other attack-minded players who can make a difference for the Mariners in the final-third.

NorthEast United FC, meanwhile, are on a 11-match unbeaten run and haven’t lost any of their matches during interim coach Khalid Jamil’s tenure. A late header by Idrissa Sylla helped earn the Highlanders a draw last time around and they will be hoping to put on another solid display against the Mariners as they eye a first-ever appearance in a Hero ISL final.

A compact side in defence, the Highlanders have been miserly at the back for most of the campaign with Dylan Fox and Benjamin Lambot developing a good understanding as their centre-back pairing. Khassa Camara has been another key player for them this season and has done well to protect NorthEast United FC’s backline from his defensive midfield role.

Offensively, the Highlanders have plenty of options to call upon. Luis Machado is their top-scorer with seven goals and he’ll be hoping to have a telling impact against the Mariners. He along with Deshorn Brown and Federico Gallego are the Highlanders’ biggest attacking threats. Brown has netted five times for NorthEast United FC, while Gallego is the side’s main playmaker and has four goals as well as six assists to show for his efforts this season. Young Lalengmawia is another individual capable of making a difference from midfield for the Highlanders. The winners of Tuesday's contest will play Mumbai City FC in the final, who beat FC Goa 6-5 on penalties on Monday night.

Squads:

ATK Mohun Bagan

Goalkeepers: Arindam Bhattacharja, Avilash Paul, Arsh Shaikh, Surajit Pramanik

Defenders: Tiri, Pritam Kotal, Prabir Das, Sandesh Jhingan, Subhasish Bose, Sumit Rathi, Salam Ranjan Singh

Midfielders: Pronay Halder, Javier Hernandez, Edu Garcia, Carl McHugh, Lenny Rodrigues, Jayesh Rane, Regin Michael, Sahil Sheikh, N Engson Singh, Samuel Lalmuanpuia

Forwards: David Williams, Roy Krishna, Manvir Singh, Md. Fardin Ali Molla, Komal Thatal, Marcelo Pereira

NorthEast United FC

Goalkeepers: Gurmeet, Nikhil Deka, Sanjiban Ghosh, Subhasish Roy

Defenders: Ashutosh Mehta, Benjamin Lambot, Dylan Fox, Gurjinder Kumar, Mashoor Shereef, Nabin Rabha, Nim Dorjee, Provat Lakra, Wayne Vaz

Midfielders: Federico Gallego, Imran Khan, Khassa Camara, Lalengmawia, Lalrempuia Fanai, Pragyan Gogoi, Rochharzela

Forwards: Britto PM, Idrissa Sylla, Ninthoinganba Meetei, Deshorn Brown, Lalkhawpuimawia, Luis Machado, Suhair Vadakkepeedika

Live Broadcast Schedule:

Hero ISL 2020-21 Semi-final 2, second leg: ATK Mohun Bagan vs NorthEast United FC

Date: March 9 (Tuesday)

Time: 7:30 PM onwards

Channels: Star Sports Network

Streaming: Disney+ Hotstar and Jio TV

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