ISL 2020-21: David Williams' sole strike helps ATK Mohun Bagan continue its dominant run
First Published Dec 22, 2020, 10:48 AM IST
This was ATK Mohun Bagan's fifth win of the season in seven matches, along with a draw and a loss, as it stays in the second spot. As for Bengaluru FC, this happened to be its first loss of the season in seven games, while it remains in the third place.
There seems to be no stopping for ATK Mohun Bagan, who continues its dominant run, as it edged past former champion, Bengaluru FC, 1-0, in the ongoing Indian Super League (ISL), at the Fatorda Stadium in Bengaluru, on Monday. The win allowed ATK to stay in the second spot, while Bengaluru is a place below it, suffering its maiden loss of the season.
The opening half started on a decent note, with five attacks within the opening 26 minutes, which also saw three saves. Nonetheless, it was in the 32nd minute when ATK's David Williams put the host ahead with his right-footed strike to the top-right corner, from outside the box, following an assist from Carl McHugh.
Naturally, it made Bengaluru determined to bounce back, as it came up with four more attacks in the half. However, it was to no avail, as ATK maintained its lead at the half-time break.
The second half saw a frustrating display from both the sides, who looked at par, coming up with eight attacks. It included a save for ATK's Edu García from Bengaluru goalkeeper Gurpreet Singh Sandhu, in the 51st minute, as both the teams failed to make any further addition, with the referee bowling the full-time whistle in ATK's favour.
Following the same, Bengaluru head coach, Carles Cuadrat, hailed his side's fighting spirit by saying, "We know the quality of these guys. I think we were fighting till the end to equalise, but it's about little margins. Cleiton had a chance then Suresh. [On starting XI] I am starting with them, but you know we have five games in 20 days, so we have to be careful with the dynamic of the team. I think we were fighting the whole 90 minutes. [On Fran Gonzalez playing as CB] No, you have to take decision and it is difficult to beat ATKMB because they are compact. I put him in the CB position because we can put others in attacking position, who can score goals like Sunil, Cleiton, Semboi, Kristian etc."
Meanwhile, ATK head coach, Antiono Lopez Habas, expressed his delight with his side sticking to the plan, as he reckoned, "Yes [on plan coming off?]. I am very happy with the behaviour and performance. Today, the team had the personality to win. [Manvir's change in position?] Manvir and Williams are important as Roy. This system is better for the players we have now, we can change another day. Williams has recovered to play for us now. [Change in tactics vs BFC] We pressurised them well in the first 45 minutes with the high press. After that we were tired. We had a different plan to go with as compared to last match and changed the role for this game and the behaviour of the team is good also."