ISL 2020-21 playoffs: ATK Mohun Bagan held 1-1 by NorthEast United FC in semis first leg
This was ATK Mohun Bagan's fifth draw of the 2020-21 Indian Super League season, while with 12 wins and four losses, it had finished second. Meanwhile, NorthEast United FC registered its tenth draw of the season, as with eight wins and three losses, it had achieved third.
ATK Mohun Bagan met its competition, as it was held to a 1-1 draw by NorthEast United FC in the opening leg of the semis of the Indian Super League 2020-21 at the GMC Stadium in Goa on Saturday. While ATKMB had finished second in the table, NEU was placed third.
The opening half saw seven attempts until the 31st minute, before David Williams scored the opener for ATK Mohun Bagan, through his left foot to the bottom right from the centre, thanks to Roy Krishna's assist. While three more chances followed, NEU's Ashutosh Mehta hit the bar with his header at the stroke of half-time, as ATKMB maintained its lead during the break.
The second half saw ten attacks until the 90th minute, including a save from NEU goalkeeper Subhasis Roy Chowdhury. Nonetheless, during the injury time, it was three minutes later when Idrissa Sylla levelled it with his header to the bottom-right from the centre, assisted through a cross by Luís Machado. It turned out to be the half's final attack, as both sides left it until the second leg to decide upon the winner.
Following the game, Williams expressed his displeasure at conceding the late goal. "We are a bit disappointed. We are now disappointed with two games in a row. I thought we were bouncing back. We need to talk together, stay positive, recover and do well in the next game. You have to give NEUFC credit. They did really well to not give up. We kept on going as well. A slight error at the back and tired legs led to the goal. We need to focus on recovering and make sure we are ready to go in the second leg," he said, reports Sportstar.
Meanwhile, NEU's Ashutosh Mehta clarified as to what led to his sudden inclusion in the side. "Brown was not well this morning, and the coach had to change the team all of a sudden and asked me to play as a right-winger. I have played in the position in the past, at Aizawl in 2017, and it was not a problem," he asserted.