ATK Mohun Bagan (ATKMB) has often been criticised for not living up to its potential in front of goal and for being content with 1-0 wins. However, none of the flak the Mariners have been subjected to mattered on Saturday as they coasted to a thumping 4-1 win over Odisha FC in the Indian Super League clash at the GMC Stadium in Bambolim.
Manvir Singh and Roy Krishna were the architects of the victory as they struck a brace each to ensure ATKMB went within three points of table-topper Mumbai City.
Manvir's belter in the 11th minute saw the Mariners draw first blood. Krishna fed the youngster on the edge of the box and Manvir worked the ball onto his left, his weaker foot, before curling it into the farthest corner of the net. ATKMB stomped its authority over the game and dominated until the half-hour mark, while bottom-placed Odisha had little to offer and managed just one shot.
The drinks break changed the Kalinga Warriors’ fortunes as they finally found their footing in the game and settled into a rhythm. Their sustained efforts paid off in stoppage time when Paul Ramfangzauva’s drive from distance rattled the post and rebounded for stand-in skipper Cole Alexander, who curled it into the net with finesse. ATKMB ‘keeper Arindam Bhattacharja was yet to find his feet after the first strike and could do nothing to prevent the ball from sailing in.
Manvir returned to score once again, this time with his favoured right foot, 10 minutes after the interval. Krishna was the provider yet again and Manvir drilled a powerful low strike that whizzed past the goalkeeper.
Perhaps feeling left out for not getting on the scoresheet, Krishna took matters into his own hands and sealed the win with a quickfire brace toward the end. The Fijian scored his first goal from the spot in the 83rd minute after Cole Alexander was adjudged to have handled the ball in the box. He followed it up with a second goal three minutes later when he latched on to Manvir’s pass and beat the ‘keeper from close range.
Krishna ended the game with two assists and two goals and now leads the race for the coveted Golden Boot.
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