ATK Mohun Bagan made it three wins from three in Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL) 2020-21 after a 1-0 victory over Odisha FC at the Fatorda Stadium on Thursday. It was a game of a few chances, but Roy Krishna popped up with a crucial header deep in stoppage time to give the Kolkata giants the win.
After a quiet opening to the match, ATK Mohun Bagan had the first effort of the game on goal in the 24th minute. The chance fell to Krishna, but he couldn’t quite control a long ball over Odisha’s backline properly before firing a left-footed shot over goal.
Odisha were creating their best chances from set-pieces and they fashioned a gilt-edged opportunity to take the lead in the 35th minute. It came from a short corner that was crossed into the box for Jacob Tratt, who found himself unmarked for a free header near the edge of the six-yard box. The Australian defender, though, failed to hit the target to the disappointment of his teammates.
The final chance of the half went to ATK Mohun Bagan and once again it was Krishna, who was in the thick of the action. This time the Fijian striker headed a cross from the left over the target as both teams went into the break with the score goalless.
ATK Mohun Bagan began the second half with more intent and purpose. Their first opportunity of the second period came from a dead ball in the 51st minute, which Javier Hernandez whipped on target only for an Odisha defender to get a crucial deflection on it.
The Kolkata giants had the ball in the back of the net courtesy of an own goal by Odisha five minutes later following a goalmouth scramble. However, the referee ruled out the goal after spotting a handball by an ATK Mohun Bagan player in the build-up to the disallowed goal.
Nandhakumar Sekar found himself in a promising position and got a shot away for Odisha in the 59th minute. His effort from outside the box, though, sailed over the crossbar. The Mariners then went up the other end a few minutes later and tested Odisha goalkeeper’s Kamaljit Singh through Jayesh Rane, whose powerful shot from a difficult angle was saved by the custodian.
The final 10 minutes of the contest witnessed ATK Mohun Bagan up the ante and spend more time near Odisha’s penalty box in search of a goal. Odisha also tested the Kolkata giants’ goalkeeper from distance in the 83rd minute and Arindam Bhattacharja was equal to the task.
Substitute Bradden Inman shot from range two minutes later but his attempt was also safely handled by Odisha’s shot-stopper. The closing stages of the game saw both sides throw men forward in search of a later winner and in the end, it was Krishna who was the difference again.
The goal came from a set-piece in the final minute of injury time. A freekick from near the half-way line came into the box and Sandesh Jhingan met the ball with his head and directed it towards the six-yard box where Krishna demonstrated his poaching instincts to head home the winner late in the contest and give ATK Mohun Bagan all three points in dramatic style.
ISL Media Release