Goals from Luis Machado (9th and 24th) and Deshorn Brown (19th) helped the Highlanders move to third spot and strengthen their chances of qualifying for the play-offs
Margao: Fiji international striker Roy Krishna did it once again as he scored a late goal to help ATK Mohun Bagan beat Jamshedpur FC 1-0 and reclaim the top spot in the Indian Super League here on Sunday.
After a cagey affair threatened to end in a goalless draw, Krishna’s late strike (85th minute) was the difference as Antonio Habas’ team grabbed all three points at the Fatorda Stadium.
The win propelled ATKMB, who have already qualified for the play-offs, to the top of the ISL table.
Mumbai City FC, who ATKMB displaced at the top by two points, have a game in hand. The result also meant that Jamshedpur’s chances of making it to the play-offs are all but over.
The first half was a cagey affair with both teams adopting a rather cautious approach.
ATKMB though soon took the upper hand. They had a penalty shout as early as the seventh minute when Krishna went down in the box, under pressure from Peter Hartley, after being fed by David Williams.
However, the referee ruled otherwise.
There were a few chances in the opening half-hour with Marcelinho going closest in the 28th minute when he crashed a shot against the side netting.
ATK Mohun Bagan had another good opportunity soon after when Sandesh Jhingan’s quick freekick found David Williams. His low shot was expertly diverted by Jamshedpur keeper TP Rehenesh.
Jhingan had an opportunity off a corner at the stroke of half time but he missed his chance to head the ball in.
The second half continued in the same vein though Jamshedpur coach Owen Coyle tried a more attacking approach with the introduction of Nerijus Valskis. However, with an hour gone, Jamshedpur was yet to register a shot on target — it was clear that their intention was to sit back and defend.
ATKMB kept on fashioning opportunities at the other end. Rehenesh was called twice into action in quick succession, both times to fend off Krishna. First, he forced a save from Rehenesh after being fed by Marcelinho. Then, a rather hopeful shot from the flanks by the Fijian was gathered easily by the Jamshedpur keeper.
But Krishna was not to be denied for long. His goal came right after ATKMB keeper Arindam Bhattacharja had acrobatically kept out a header from Valskis that looked to be going in.
And as was the case with a lot of times that Krishna had scored, it was David Williams who created it.
After receiving the ball from the Australian, Krishna found the right-hand corner of the goal, past a diving Rehenesh, with a perfect finish.
NorthEast United beat Odisha FC
Meanwhile, NorthEast United continued their unbeaten run and defeated Odisha FC 3-1 to climb to the third spot of the standings on Sunday.
Goals from Luis Machado (9th and 24th) and Deshorn Brown (19th) helped the Highlanders move to third spot and strengthen their chances of qualifying for the play-offs.
Bradden Inman (45th) netted a consolation for Odisha.
With the Hyderabad FC and FC Goa, who are currently at fourth and fifth respectively, taking on each other in their final game, NorthEast are now heavy favourites to grab a playoff spot.
NEUFC started the game at a furious pace and only needed nine minutes to come up with the first goal. Ashutosh Mehta found Machado with an accurate cross and the latter hit it first time past a diving Arshdeep Singh.
It was no less than what NorthEast United deserved given the attacking intent they showed in the first period of the match.
A second goal came ten minutes later through Brown. Federico Gallego entered the Odisha half with the ball and threaded through a pass for the new recruit, who had been enjoying a fruitful stint since his arrival from Bengaluru FC. The Jamaican slotted home with a sublime finish.
Another five minutes later, NEUFC had their third goal, with Gallego again at the centre of things. He spotted Machado making a run into the box and found him with an accurate looping ball. Machado made no mistake and headed the ball past the onrushing Arshdeep.
There seemed to be no way back for Odisha from there.
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