Photo Credit: ATKMB Twitter (https://twitter.com/atkmohunbaganfc/status/1334530741976268804/photo/1)
ISL 2020-21 ATKMB vs Odisha FC: Heartbreak for Odisha as Krishna fetches late winner for ATKMB
Krishna's winning goal in the final seconds of injury time earned the Kolkata side all three points.
ATK Mohun Bagan defeated Odisha FC by 1-0 on Thursday night at the Fatorda Stadium in Goa courtesy of a late goal from Fijian International Roy Krishna.
It was a quiet start for both sides but Odisha looked promising upfront. ATKMB got the first chance of the game when a cross to Roy Krishna over the Odisha defence helped the Fijian to take a shot but he found himself at an awkward angle and couldn't keep his attempt on target.
The best opportunity of the half came to Odisha when Jacob Tratt was found unmarked inside the box and he was able to attempt a free header from a corner but the Aussie headed it wide.
Later, Krishna headed a cross from leftover the goal. The scoreline remained goalless at the break.
In the second half, the first chance fell to the hosts when Javier Hernandez whipped a shot on target from a dead ball only to be denied by a deflection off the defence.
Five minutes later ATKMB almost got the lead following a goalmouth scramble but the referee adjudged it a foul as Manvir Singh was found guilty of handling the ball.
Nandhakumar Sekhar's shot in the 59th minute flew over the crossbar and was responded by Jayesh Rane's attempt from distance on the other end, which forced the custodian Kamaljit Singh into a save.
In the final ten minutes, ATK Mohun Bagan spent more time in the opposition half. In the 83rd minute though, Arindam Bhattacharja was forced into a save from an attempt by the opposition side.
Two minutes later, substitute Bradden Inman shot from distance but Kamaljit Singh was equal to the task. Both sides upped the ante to find the winner.
But the winner finally came to the Mariners through Fijian Roy Krishna. A last-minute dead ball situation led to a header by Sandesh Jhingan into the box following which Krishna headed the ball home to earn the win.
The Mariners' head coach Antonio Lopez Habas was not satisfied despite the win,
“It was not the best match for ATK Mohun Bagan. We had to squeeze out this result for ourselves,”
Habas said in the post-match press conference.
On the question, if Stuart Baxter was successful in restraining the Green and Maroons through the counter-attack, he said, "I think this is not true because most teams in leagues across the world use counter-attacks. I do not like playing positional football because then the ball is mostly on our side of the pitch. I believe that the ball should be in the opponents’ side of the pitch.”
The Spaniard further added that he was happy to take the wins even though the game was not attractive from their end, "I am very happy but we might not be playing the best football. However, it’s better to consolidate with three victories than lose. I am only thinking about the improvements that we have to make,” he said.
Odisha head coach Stuart Baxter felt his side wouldn't have lost if the decisions in the final minutes were better, "It would have been unlucky if we continued playing the way we were and then we lost the match, but we didn't. We started making decisions on the field that made it difficult when we lost the ball and tried to defend the spaces around the defenders. We gave up too many set-plays and transitions."
“But we were also a threat. We kept them out of our final third long enough. We’re not unlucky when we make the silly decisions that we made. If you give up set-plays in the last few minutes of the game, you can get hit by your opponents, so that is something we have to learn,” he said.