ISL 2019 highlights: David Williams goal takes ATK to summit

Chennaiyin FC failed to score a goal for a third consecutive match and ATK secured a hard-fought 1-0 win at the Marina Arena.

John Gregory reacts on the touchline during Chennaiyin FC's match against Mumbai City FC.   -  ISL/Sportzpics

ATK registered a second straight win thanks to David Williams' 48th-minute goal, taking it to the top of ISL. Chennaiyin, meanwhile, remains goalless three matches into the season.

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Full-time: Chennaiyin FC 1-0 ATK. David Williams' 48th-minute goal is enough to secure three points and take ATK to the top of ISL. Chennaiyin remains winless after three matches. Join us tomorrow for Mumbai City FC's home fixture against the rechristened Odisha.

90+3' Yellow card for Valskis for an inexplicable lash out.

We're into five minutes of stoppage time.

87' A free-kick from a dangerous position from ATK. Rafael Crivellaro takes responsibility and goes for goal, but it's well over the crossbar and ATK is let off the hook again.

85' ATK offering very little attacking threat, with Roy Krishna the lone man upfront. ATK players are camped deep in their half, allowing Chennaiyin to come onto it, but the home team hasn't had the quality in its finishing to take the many chances that have been created over the two halves.

80' Substitution for ATK: Pronay Halder is replaced by Sehnaj Singh as ATK looks to hold onto its slender lead.

75' Substitution for ATK: Javi Hernandez makes way for Edu Garcia.

74' Chances coming thick and fast for Chennaiyin, but its forwards are having a pooring night in front of goal. Andre Schembri first missed a simple chance after receiving a pass from Anirudh Thapa, but it dribbles just wide of the far post as Arindam Bhattacharja looks helplessly.

71' CHANCE for Chennaiyin! Eli Sabia gets up to head a wonderfully-delivered free-kick from Valskis, but his header, under limited pressure from the ATK defenders, is wide.

66' Injury to Michael Soosairaj. It's a 50-50 ball that Soosairaj challenges for and comes out the worse after Eli Sabia seems to catch Soosairaj's ankle as he tries to pass the ball forward. Soosairaj is stretchered off and Jayesh Rane has replaced him.

62' CHANCE! Rafael Crivellaro plays a low cross, hoping a Chennaiyin player would get on the end of it. There are three ATK players on the six-yard box and after a scramble, it's cleared away.

58' A brief spell of possession for Chennaiyin FC as it goes in search of an equaliser. ATK happy to sit back, but from Chennaiyin's perspective, it needs this spell of possession to result in a goal.

57' First substitution of the night: Andre Schembri comes on for Dragos as John Gregory seeks a positive impact.

48' GOAL! David Williams breaks the deadlock, putting ATK 1-0 up against Chennaiyin. Prabir Das's touch from a crossfield ball was crucial to the goal. He controlled it with his chest and laid the ball for Javier Hernandez, who went for a first-time sidefooted effort that was blocked but then rolled onto the path of David Williams at the backpost, and he made no mistake. Chennaiyin's defence was living dangerously in the first half and ATK will look at the goal as a redemption for its attacking endeavour.

The players are back out for the second half, both teams unchanged. And here we go! Chennaiyin gets us underway.

Half-time: Chennaiyin FC 0-0 ATK. Both teams go into the break with the match still goalless. Chennaiyin has had the better chances, none more easier than for Valskis inside 10 minutes. ATK played better as the half wore on, but it's all to play for.

45+1' Wayward header. Dhanpal Ganesh has a free header at the backpost from a Dragos corner, but it's tame and wide. A let-off for ATK, which conceded a cheap corner on the stroke of half-time.

38' OFFSIDE! ATK's David Williams was put through on goal by Roy Krishna after Anirudh Thapa gave the ball away inside his own half. Lucian Goian was playing David onside, but the linesman put his flag up, and ATK manager Antonio Habas expresses his displeasure on the touchline.

32' BLOCKED! Lucian Goian in the thick of action again as he gets his head to a thumping effort from Roy Krishna from just outside the box. That was sweetly hit, a first-time effort, and was on target, but Goian stood up and his block sent the ball for a corner that doesn't produce much for ATK.

25' APPEAL FOR PENALTY! Michael Soosairaj at the heart of an ATK attacking move that culminates in an appeal for penalty. Referee waves play on. Lucian Goian seemed to have his hand in an unnatural position as Roy Krishna let fly a first-time shot that was on target.

24' SAVED! Arindam Bhattacharja denies another Chennaiyin FC player. This time it's Anirudh Thapa who creates a bit of space for himself on the edge of the ATK box and goes for the curling effort, but it's right down the middle and Bhattacharja completes an easy catch. That's the fourth clear chance Chennaiyin has had on the night.

16' More goalmouth action in the Chennaiyin box! This time it's Lallianzuala Chhangte who creates the chance for himself and has a shot on goal. It's a good hit but straight at the goalkeeper Arindam Bhattacharja, who holds on.

9' HOW HAS HE MISSED THAT? Valskis gets on the end of a low cross from Rafael Crivellaro and gets his right foot to direct the ball into the bottom corner, but he doesn't get the desired connection and the ball rolls wide and over the byeline for a goal kick. Two big chances inside 10 minutes and Chennaiyin should be 2-0 up! Manager John Gregory expresses his disappointment on the touchline having replaced Andre Schembri with Valskis, who has missed both the chances so far.

3' CHANCE! Valskis with an early chance to put Chennaiyin FC ahead. It's the perfect cross played into the six-yard box from Edwin Vanspaul and Valskis can't get over the ball to keep it on target and test Arindam Bhattacharja in the ATK goal. An early let-off for the visitor and a good start at the same time for Chennaiyin.

1' Kick-off! ATK gets the match underway, playing from right to left.

The players are making their way onto the pitch. Chennaiyin FC is in its navy blue strip, ATK, in its white and red strip, as the pyrotechnics go off. The Indian national anthem has been sung and we are moments away from kick-off as the two sets of players shake hands and pose for the team photo.

 

Starting line-ups

Chennaiyin FC XI: Vishal Kaith (GK), Eli Sabia, Lucian Goian (c), Tondonba Singh, Anirudh Thapa, Dragos Firtulescu, Edwin Vanspaul, Lallianzuala Chhangte, Rafael Crivellaro, Dhanpal Ganesh, Nerijus Valskis (Substitutes: Karanjit Singh Jerry Lalrinzuala, Masih Saighani, Germanpreet Singh, Thoi Singh, Andre Schembri, Rahim Ali)

ATK XI: Arindam Bhattacharja (GK), Anas Edathodika, Prabir Das, Pritam Kotal (c), Agustin Iniguez, Pronay Halder, Carl McHugh, Javier Hernandez, David Williams, Michael Soosairaj, Roy Krishna. (Substitutes: Dheeraj Singh, Ankit Mukherjee, John Johnson, Sehnaj Singh, Balwant Singh, Edu Garcia, Jayesh Rane)

Preview

Winless in two matches, Chennaiyin FC ideally needs a win tonight to ensure it doesn't fall far behind the early pacesetters. A win for ATK will take it to the summit and while that will be a big motivation for Antonio Habas and his men, it's precisely the scenario that tonight's host must avoid after last season's disappointment.

ATK bounced back from its opening-day defeat to Kerala Blasters with a dominant 5-0 win over Jamshedpur FC in its previous match, while Chennaiyin has yet to score a goal in its two matches against FC Goa and Mumbai City FC.

Speaking on the eve of the match, Chennaiyin manager John Gregory said, "One or two of my players had a difficult introduction [to ISL],” said the Englishman. “This is something I have spoken to my players. My creators -- Anirudh Thapa, Rafael Crivellaro, Lallianzuala Chhantge, Dragos Firtulescu -- must stay in the game at all times. But they drifted out of the game at times. We need to be switched on early... ATK start well in games.”

ATK manager Habas is not reading too much into Chennaiyin's results so far. “It’s just a statistic [goalless in two matches] which is not important for me. The 90 minutes are important. Two matches are never similar. With this mentality, we have to face Chennaiyin.”