ISL 2019-20: ATK's counter-attacking show ends NorthEast's unbeaten run

The 3-0 win over NorthEast United took ATK to the top of the Indian Super League (ISL 2019-20) points table with 14 points from seven matches.

ATK celebrates taking the lead against NorthEast United.   -  ISL MEDIA

ATK reclaimed the top spot in the Indian Super League with an impressive 3-0 win against NorthEast United FC at the Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium here on Saturday.

An early strike from David Williams (11') and a brace from Roy Krishna (35', 90+4') was enough for Antonio Habas' team to hand NorthEast its first defeat of the season. With the strikes taking his goal tally to six, Krishna also became the leading goalscorer this season.

AS IT HAPPENED

With its fourth win of the campaign, ATK has 14 points from seven matches while the Highlanders, who have 10 points, are fourth.

Star striker Asamoah Gyan could have put NorthEast ahead within two minutes when he chested down a brilliant lob over the defence by Lalthathanga Khawlhring but the Ghanaian striker's meek effort was kept out well by goalkeeper Arindam Bhattacharya.

Minutes after that big chance, the star striker was forced off the field due to an injury with Maximiliano Barriero coming on as the replacement.

In the 11th minute, a lapse in concentration by the host's defence allowed Williams to pounce and give ATK the lead. Prabir Das ran down the flank unmarked to latch onto Edu Garcia's through-ball and found Williams at the far post with a cross. The in-form forward leapt over his marker to head the ball into the net.

Boosted by the opener, ATK threatened the host with quick counters and doubled its lead before the break. Williams delivered an excellent ball for Krishna who attacked the space behind the visitor's defence, dropped his shoulder to get past the last defender Wayne Vaz and slotted past Subhasish Roy.

Habas' team continued to pose a threat after the change of ends. Minutes into the second-half, Krishna missed  a chance to score his second goal when Williams set him up in front of the goal following a two-on-one scenario. The striker sent his effort wide with an empty net in front.

The creator then almost turned scorer when Williams got to Das' pass into the box and unleashed a powerful strike that required strong hands from the goalkeeper.

NorthEast found it hard to create clear-cut opportunities. Martin Chaves' 30-yard piledriver flew harmlessly over the bar. Khwalhring's looping ball into the box found Nikhil Kadam with just the keeper to beat, but the winger failed to control his header.

The two-goal cushion allowed ATK to drop deeper and make it harder for its opponent, whose lack of final touch meant there was no comeback in store for the home crowd.  

ATK added another goal in injury time. Substitute Jobby Justin released Krishna into space behind the backline and the Fijian striker finished it with a chip over the 'keeper.

Support Sportstar


Dear Reader,

Support our journalism — where text and pictures intermingle so seamlessly — and help us scale up your experience as the world changes around us. Your contribution is vital to our brand of uninfluenced, boots-on-the-ground reportage that’s worth your while. Clickbait sensationalism is not for us, but editorial independence is — we owe it to you.

  Dugout videos