Super Gallego leads NorthEast United to win over ATK Mohun Bagan
Uruguayan playmaker Federico Gallego scored a beautiful goal and ensured the three points for NorthEast United FC following a 2-1 win over second-placed ATK Mohun Bagan in Match 72 of Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL) 2020-21 at the Fatorda Stadium on Tuesday. The Highlanders took the lead on the hour mark through Luis Machado before Roy Krishna got the equaliser, and then it was Gallego’s show as ATK Mohun Bagan dropped points in the race for the top spot.
- Luis Machado scored the first goal of the game in the 60th minute.
- Roy Krishna scored the equaliser in the 72nd minute but Federico Gallego restored his side’s lead nine minutes later.
NorthEast United defended well in the opening stages of the game, with chances coming at a premium for the Mariners. First Javier Hernandez shot wide of the target eight minutes into the game. Then in the 15th minute, David Williams forced the first save of the match after his volleyed shot went straight to the Highlanders’ goalkeeper.
Highlanders’ midfielder Machado came close in the 32th minute but the effort was well parried away by Arindam Bhattacharja. On the 38-minute mark, new signing Deshorn Brown got into a goal-scoring position but his acrobatic attempt went just over the crossbar.
At the other end, Prabir Das failed to get an all-important touch after Williams burst into the attacking third and played the ball across the goal just before the halftime whistle.
ATK Mohun Bagan began the second half brightly but missed the finishing touch. And they were punished for their misses in the 60th minute of the game. Mariners defender Tiri made a poor clearance and the ball was blocked by Gallego after which Machado got onto the ball in a flash and placed it in the bottom left corner of the goal.
Khassa Camara then forced Arindam into a save after attempting a shot from outside in the 69th minute. NorthEast tested the goal from the following corner after a well-worked move found Mashoor Shereef’s head but the effort clipped the frame of the goal before going out for a goalkick.
A brilliant move for ATK Mohun Bagan brought them back on level terms in the 72nd minute. Substitute Komal Thatal found Carl McHugh at the edge of the penalty box. The holding midfielder played a defence-splitting pass which was tapped into the goal by their Fijian striker Krishna.
In the 78th minute, ATK Mohun Bagan were close to taking the lead if not for a goalline clearance by Nim Dorjee. The effort came from Thatal but the defender was in the right place at the right time to keep his side in the hunt. His important clearance was rewarded three minutes later.
The 81st minute saw the Highlanders take the lead for the second time against the Mariners. Gallego attempted a curling shot from outside the box and the ball beat the goalkeeper before hitting the post and going into the goal. Machado then almost scored a brace but saw his effort end up on the wrong side of the post. The equalising goal for the Mariners did not come as NorthEast United secured their second straight win to move up to fifth on the league table.
Hero of the Match: Federico Gallego
Gallego was the best player on the pitch for the Highlanders and was involved in both goals for his team. After winning the ball that set up the opening goal of the game for Machado, the icing on the cake was his winning goal late in the game, which fetched the three points for his team.
Other Match Awards:
Club Award: NorthEast United FC
DHL Winning Pass of the Match: Rochharzela (NorthEast United FC)
Watch the Match Highlights here: