ATK beats NEUFC to top ISL table - Talking Points

Balwant Singh's stoppage-time goal saw ATK beat NEUFC 1-0 and storm to the top of the ISL table. Here are the key talking points from the game.

Published : Jan 28, 2020 10:54 IST

ATK players celebrate the win over NEUFC.
ATK players celebrate the win over NEUFC.

ATK players celebrate the win over NEUFC.

Two-time Indian Super League champion ATK stormed to the top of the ISL 2019-20 table as it earned a hard-fought 1-0 win over NorthEast United FC on Monday.

Balwant Singh was the matchwinner as his stoppage-time header secured ATK's eighth win in 14 games which took its tally to 27 points. Here are the key talking points from the game:

1) Balwant does a Garcia

Edu Garcia has rescued his side on multiple occasions by conjuring those late goals, and it was only fitting that his replacement, Balwant, won the game for ATK on Monday. Garcia returned to the side for the first time since December 14 and created a couple of chances for Roy Krishna and Michael Soosairaj, but neither could convert.

He had a fine free-kick chance in the dying stages but failed to capitalise and was replaced by Balwant in the 90th minute. Balwant struck the match-winning header four minutes later to seal a memorable win for ATK.

2) ATK's finishing woes

Krishna and Soosairaj had chances to put ATK ahead much earlier in the match but they were undone by their shoddy finishing. Krishna squandered a 1v1 chance, while Soosairaj did all the hard work to chase down a through ball and managed to beat the 'keeper, but his meek attempt was cleared off the line.

Pritam Kotal also had a fantastic chance around the hour mark when he had the goal at his mercy, but he ended up blasting his shot into the stands from less than five yards out.

The poor finishing could have ultimately led to ATK dropping points, if not for Balwant's timely header.

3) NEUFC's torrid continues

NorthEast's slide continues as the side now remains winless in eight consecutive matches. Robert Jarni's team remains on the ninth spot in the ISL table and is the only team to have not scored a minimum of 10 goals this season.

Federico Gallego and Jose Leudo were brought on in the second half in search of the goal but it wasn't meant to be. Martin Chaves was the only NEUFC player who looked alive in front of goal and had a fine attempt, but Arindam Bhattacharya made a supreme diving save to deny him.

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