ISL 2020-21 semifinals 1st leg, Highlights: NorthEast United holds ATK Mohun Bagan to 1-1 draw

ISL 2020-21 Highlights, NEUFC vs ATKMB semifinal 1st leg: NorthEast United FC and ATK Mohun Bagan played put a 1-1 draw in the first leg of their Indian Super League semi-final clash.

Idrissa Sylla

NorthEast United FC players celebrate Idrissa Sylla's goal against ATK Mohun Bagan during their ISL 2020-21 semifinal clash on Saturday.   -  ISL/Sportzpics

Welcome to Sportstar's ISL 2020-21 highlights of the NorthEast United FC vs ATK Mohun Bagan match that was played at the GMC Stadium in Bambolim on Saturday.

NorthEast United FC coach interim head coach Khalid Jamil: "After conceding in in the first half we were thinking in the dressing room that we must make an early change. However, I waited for a while. Sylla was also not fully fit and I thought I would give him 30 minutes. Him and Britto did a good job.

MATCH REPORT| ISL 2020-21 semifinal: Sylla helps NorthEast United cancel ATK Mohun Bagan's advantage

On Brown's availability for the next game: "We will see tomorrow. Brown will be available for the next game. We will see who is the best available player and make them start."

On remaining unbeaten: "As I said, the players did all the hardwork. They deserve all the credit. They have worked hard and they have the belief. ATKMB is a strong team and has plenty of quality. We have to prepare well. If you are mentally strong,you will go ahead." 

NorthEast United FC's Ashutosh Mehta: "Brown was not well this morning and the coach had to change the team all of a sudden and asked me to play as a right winger. I have played in the position in the past, at Aizawl in 2017, and it was not a problem."

ISL 2020-21 top-scorers list: FC Goa's Igor Angulo leads Golden Boot race, Roy Krishna second  

ATK Mohun Bagan coach Antonio Habas: "I am happy. We played the first 70 minutes very well. We have one match more. Today is a draw and now we have 90 minutes more and I have to prepare my team for the next match. I am happy with the performance. "

On Deshorn Brown's absence: "We knew that Brown is not on the pitch. We also did not have Edu Garcia. We have had problems with injuries to foreigners all season No excuses. I have a lot of confidence in my team, we have to play well in the next game."

Injury update: "Garcia and Sandesh still injured. No time to recover. We will try to get them ready."

INTERVIEW| Khalid Jamil - Indian coaches are as capable as others

ATK Mohun Bagan's goal-scorer David Williams: "We are a bit disappointed. We are now disappointed two games in a row. I thought we were bouncing back (from the losses.). We need to talk together, stay positive recover and do well in the next game.

You have to give NEUFC credit. They did  really well to not give up. We kept on going as well. A slight error at the back and tired legs led to the goal. We need to focus on recovering and make sure we are ready to go in the second leg."

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What an enthralling contest! NorthEast United FC's fairy tale run under Khalid Jamil continues as Idrissa Sylla's stoppage-time equaliser steers the Highlanders to a 1-1 draw with ATK Mohun Bagan.

The Mariners went ahead through David Williams in the 34th minute and looked set to seal another one of their classic 1-0 victories. Sylla, however, had different plans.

The Guinean, who came on in the 66th minute, struck a fine header off Luis Machado's cross in the 94th minute to ensure his side does not go into the second leg on the back foot.

Our three-member panel leaned heavily towards NorthEast United, with 2/3 of them predicting a win for the Highlanders. However, one of them predicted a 1-1 draw and got it right! Tune in below to see who did a "Paul the Octopus".

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90+7' FULL TIME! Northeast United 1 - 1 ATK Mohun Bagan

90+4' SYLLA SCORES THE EQUALISER! What. A. Turnaround. Machado curls in a delightful ball and Sylla rises high to nod the ball past Arindam. Looks like Khalid Jamil's unbeaten run will continue!

90+1' Williams threads the corner to Javi and he fires a low drive that is deflected for another corner.

90' Sylla and Gallego combine at the edge of the box and the Uruguayan's shot loses it venom after tacking a deflection off Prabir. Six minutes to be added on.

87' Sylla has a crack at goal from distance, but fails to trouble Arindam between the sticks. Meanwhile, an assistant coach on the ATK Mohun Bagan bench has been booked.

85' Another meltdown on the sidelines for Habas. He's been in the fourth official's face all evening and has now been asked to calm down. The Spaniard is minutes away from winning his maiden semifinal first leg clash in the ISL.

82' Two bookings in a minute! Javi is shown a yellow card for a foul on Lalengmawia, while Ashutosh goes into the ref's book for a challenge on Williams.

81' First change of the evening for ATK Mohun Bagan as Pronay Halder replaces Marcelinho.

79' Gallego tries to thread it in for Sylla but falls just short.

75' It's interesting to note that there have no bookings so far today. The FC Goa vs Mumbai City FC clash yesterday had three bookings and four goals by the 75 minute mark. The water break has been called.

74' Change for NorthEast United - Britto PM comes on for Suhair.

72' Fine ball there from Ashutosh. He curls in it towards the centre of the box, but it drifts just wide of Sylla.

70' Sylla will be integral to NorthEast United's chances now. The Guinean's physical presence in the box will be a massive boost for the Highlanders.

67' The two changes will see Ashutosh return to his traditional defensive position while Suhair will slot into the right wing.

66' Double change for NorthEast United FC - Lambot and Dorjee are replaced by Idrissa Sylla and Mashoor Shereef respectively.

62' NorthEast United FC has looked solid in the second half but continues to miss a proper striker. The side hasn't looked as menacing from open play but has shown plenty of promise from set-pieces.

59' Gallego floats the free-kick towards the far post and Arindam gloves it away for a corner.

58' McHugh runs into Gallego's back and gives away a very silly free-kick. Habas, as always, is livid on the sideline.

55' Chance! Gallego plays an excellent diagonal ball for Fox on the far post, but its got just a tad too much power on it.

52' Replays suggest that Arindam made very little contact with Machado, but there was contact nevertheless. He could have been sent off if the referee saw that as a last man challenge.

Some stats going into the second half:

- Habas has been in three ISL semifinals and has never won the first leg, he's lost two and drawn one

- ATKMB has scored 23 out of its 29 goals in the second half

- NEUFC has scored 20 goals from open play, while ATKMB has conceded only six goals from open play

50' Arindam is a lucky man! He races off his line and out of his box in an attempt to win the ball on the bounce. Machado gets to the ball first and tries to place it between the 'keepers legs and is taken out in the process. The referee, strangely, waves away any appeals for a foul.

47' The Mariners have scored seven goals between the 45th to 60th minute. Another goal in the offing for Krishna and Co.?

46' KICK OFF! And the second half gets underway.

Re-plug! Shyam Vasudevan, N. Sudarshan and Aashin Prasad discuss their predictions ahead of the semifinal clash between NorthEast United FC and ATK Mohun Bagan.

An intense 45 minutes come to an end with NorthEast United being denied by the crossbar. Both teams looked fairly even until the half-hour mark and ATK Mohun Bagan took the lead right after the water break.

David Williams skillfully dodged his marker before rifling the ball into the left bottom corner. ATK Mohun Bagan will fancy its chances as it has not lost a single game when Williams has got on the scoresheet.

An exciting second half awaits!

HALF TIME: NorthEast United FC 0 - 1 ATK Mohun Bagan

45+2' OFF THE CROSSBAR! Gallego delivers a lovely long ball and Ashutosh's header clatters against the woodwork.

45+2' Machado seems to be attracting all the fouls now. The Portuguese is taken out by Prabir this time around near the mid-line.

44' A stunning break of play sees Krishna, Javi and Marcelinho storm towards the  NEUFC goal. Javi finds Marcelinho on the right, who tries to shoot, but has the ball stolen from his feet. Two minutes to be added on.

42' The free-kick is taken short and the passage of play sees Camara have a go from distance...and the ball ends up in the car park. Camara has not scored in nearly seven years.

41' The Highlanders are making inroads! Machado is taken down by McHugh once again and NEUFC has a free-kick from a promising position. 

38' Punched away by Arindam! Gallego curls it towards the far corner and the 'keeper clears it for a corner.

37' Free-kick to NorthEast! Machado is brought down by McHugh and Gallego will take the deadball.

36' STAT: ATK Mohun Bagan has not lost a single game this season after taking the lead.

34' WILLIAMS SCORES! Krishna receives a long ball and squares it for Williams at the edge of the box. The Australian fakes a shot to get past his first marker and then weaves the ball onto his left foot to drill the ball into the bottom corner.

David Williams

ATK Mohun Bagan's David Williams celebrates scoring against NorthEast United FC during their ISL 2020-21 semifinal clash on Saturday.   -  ISL/Sportzpics

 

31' Manvir takes on Gurjinder and the two wrestle their way into the box. Gurjinder does just about enough to ensure Manvir can't get a shot on target. And off we go for a water break.

30' Neither side has managed a shot on target in the opening half hour of play. Very interesting from NorthEast United, considering the side has scored 18 of its 31 goals in the first half.

27' NorthEast United is clearly struggling to fill the void left by Deshorn Brown's absence. The side is lacking a ball carrier down the centre. However, Ashutosh has been phenomenal so far and has made some very promising runs into the final third.

24' Incredible stuff from Krishna. Javi's shot finds him in the box and Krishna juggles the ball twice before unleashing a volley that finds the side-netting.

21' Krishna finds Manvir on the right and youngster drills a lovely low cross into the box but there is no white shirt to convert.

Manvir Singh

ATK Mohun Bagan's Manvir Singh in action against NorthEast United FC during their ISL 2020-21 clash on Saturday.   -  ISL/Sportzpics

 

19' Ashutosh plays a delightful cross into the box but neither Machado nor Suhair is able to convert.

18' Krishna makes a surging run down the left and squares it for Marcelinho in the box, but Lambot intercepts to clear the danger.

15' STAT: The opening goal will be particularly crucial today as neither side has lost after taking the lead.

The Highlanders have taken the lead in 13 games this season and won eight of those, drawing the rest. ATK Mohun Bagan has a similar record, having taken the lead 14 times and winning 12 times and sharing the points twice.

13' ATK Mohun Bagan has dictated play over the last five minutes. The likes of Manvir and Javi have had shots from distance, while the NEUFC defence has given the ball away cheaply on a couple of occassions.

10' Javiiiiiiiiiiiii...it rolls just wide. Marcelinho drops a shoulder and darts into the box before laying to for Javi, who fails to trouble the 'keeper.

8' First corner of the game! Manvir weaves his way to the centre from the right and fires a powerful drive off his left foot. Lambot clears it for a corner.

6' It will be interesting to see how the ATK Mohun Bagan defence functions today in the absence of Jhingan and Tiri today. McHugh, a traditional midfielder, is playing as a centre-back today.

4' Camara launches a stunning diagonal ball toward Ashutosh, but the latter is unable to bring the ball down.

2' Camara times his sliding tackle to perfection to halt Javi's run toward the 18-yard box.

1' KICK-OFF!

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7:26pm: The players are out in the middle!

7:20pm: Shyam Vasudevan, N. Sudarshan and Aashin Prasad discuss their predictions ahead of the semifinal clash between NorthEast United FC and ATK Mohun Bagan.

 

7:15pm: NorthEast United FC interim head coach Khalid Jamil is the first Indian coach to take an ISL side to the last-four stage. In a candid chat with our correspondent Nandakumar Marar, the I-League-winning coach talks about his experience at NEUFC and how Indian coaches should get chances to lead ISL clubs - Khalid Jamil - Indian coaches are as capable as others

Khalid Jamil

Khalid Jamil's NorthEast United FC has been unbeaten since he was named the interim head coach on January 13.   -  ISL/Sportzpics

 

7pm: Three changes at Antonio Habas' ATK Mohun Bagan as well. Jhingan misses out owing to injury and is replaced by Bose. Interestingly, defensive mainstay Tiri has also been benched and Prabir has come in. Hernandez has been brought on for Halder in midfield.

IN: Prabir Das, Subhasish Bose, Javier Hernandez | OUT: Sandesh Jhingan, Tiri, Pronay Halder

Tiri

ATK Mohun Bagan's Tiri has been benched, while Javier Hernandez (L) has been named in the starting XI.   -  ISL/Sportzpics

6:45pm: Khaild Jamil has made three changes to his side from the 2-0 win over Kerala Blasters. The defensive duo of Gurjinder and Ashutosh are back in the XI while play-maker Gallego also returns to the starting line-up. The Uruguayan has been the creative fulcrum at NEUFC, crafting six assists and bagging four goals in 14 games.

IN: Gurjinder Kumar, Ashutosh Mehta, Federico Gallego | OUT: Provat Lakra, Imran Khan, Deshorn Brown.

Federico Gallego has been integral to NEUFC's success this season.   -  sportzpics

 

6:30pm: TEAM NEWS!

NorthEast United FC

Subhasish Roy Chowdhury, Gurjinder Kumar, Dylan Fox, Benjamin Lambot, Ashutosh Mehta, Nim Dorjee, Khassa Camara, Federico Gallego, Luis Machado, Lalengmawia, VP Suhair.

ATK Mohun Bagan

Arindam Bhattacharja, Subhasish Bose, Pritam Kotal, Carl McHugh, Prabir Das, Javier Hernandez, Lenny Rodrigues, Manvir Singh, David Williams, Roy Krishna, Marcelinho.

Lalengmawia

NorthEast United FC's Lalengmawia has been awarded the "Goal of the week" award for his thunderbolt strike against Kerala Blasters last week.   -  ISL/Sportzpics

 

6:15pm: The opening goal is going to be very crucial today. The Highlanders have taken the lead in 13 games this season and won eight of those, drawing the rest. ATK Mohun Bagan has a similar record, having taken the lead 14 times and winning 12 times and sharing the points twice.

6pm: Here's how we think the two sides could line-up today -

NorthEast United FC Predicted XI

Subhasish Roy Chowdhury, Gurjinder Kumar, Benjamin Lambot, Ashutosh Mehta, Nim Dorjee, Khassa Camara, Federico Gallego, Luis Machado, Lalengmawia, VP Suh air, Deshorn Brown.

ATK Mohun Bagan Predicted XI

Arindam Bhattacharya, Subhasish Bose, Pritam Kotal, Tiri, Prabir Das, Carl McHugh, Marcelinho, Lenny Rodrigues, David Williams, Roy Krishna, Manvir Singh.

5:45pm: ATK Mohun Bagan is playing in its maiden semifinal as a new entity following the merger between ATK and Mohun Bagan.

The ATK - Mohun Bagan merger may have seemed like a match made in heaven with the 2019-20 ISL and I-League champions primed to forge a winning partnership in the country's top division. However, from a controversial jersey to references to the former ISL entity, this acquisition has had a rocky debut year.

Here's an episode from The Full Time Show podcast where our reporters discuss the merger and why Mohun Bagan fans took to the streets with #RemoveATK chants.

5:30pm: MATCH PREVIEW

NorthEast United FC will be looking to build on its unbeaten run in the last nine matches when it takes on a strong ATK Mohun Bagan side in the first leg of the second Indian Super League (ISL 2020-21) semifinal at the GMC Stadium on Saturday.

Among the four teams progressing to the playoffs, NorthEast’s ascendance has been the most remarkable as it recovered from a mid-season slump, which saw it dropping to the bottom half of the league table, before emerging as one of the title contenders.

RELATED | ISL 2020-21: FC Goa held to 2-2 draw by resilient Mumbai City

The man behind NEUFC’s spectacular turnaround is Khalid Jamil, who took over as interim head coach at the time of crisis and helped the team reach the semifinals for only the second time in its short history. Jamil, who had joined the team as an assistant coach in the previous season, remained unbeaten in all the nine games he managed as the Highlanders recorded a creditable six wins and three draws.

“All the players have worked very hard. Because of them, we have reached here. I never think about the nine matches. This is a very serious game and we will have to fight for everything. The boys have worked hard through the season and I hope they continue to do so in the next few matches,” Jamil said on the eve of the match.

ATKMB remains as one of the most consistent sides ever in the tournament but slips in the last two matches cost it the prospect of winning the ISL League Winners' Shield. Coach Antonio Habas, who has the experience of winning the title twice with ATK before the merger, will be hoping to arrest the slump and help Mohun Bagan regain the winning form.

“We have to think positively and get back to the rhythm with which we have played so far. Our target will be winning the title and we have to put our best efforts to realise it,” Habas said. The Mariners are likely to miss their injured central defender Sandesh Jhingan.

ALSO READ | ISL 2020-21: It was a very satisfying season for all of us at Hyderabad FC, says coach Marquez

The statistics show that both teams exhibit high levels of compactness at the back. Scoring first on the night would be crucial as none of the two sides have lost a match this season after taking the lead. NorthEast won eight and drew the remaining five in the 13 occasions it has scored first, while Mohun Bagan has an even better record with 12 wins and two draws the 14 times when it has taken the lead.

“We are going to play against a good football team. ATKMB is defensively strong and has a good attack. It will be the toughest game of the league. While progressing to this stage, my boys have shown the right temperament and the heart to take on any opponent. I am proud as their coach,” Jamil said.

Habas also had a lot of good words for his next opponent. “It’s a very difficult team because they have good players in defence, central midfield and good players in attack. They also had good performances, always giving 100 percent on the pitch,” Habas said while setting the tone for a tough fight ahead in Bambolim.

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ISL 2020: Points Table

The seventh edition of the Indian Super League got underway inside a bio-bubble in Goa on November 20.

The tournament, spanning over four months, will see 11 teams play each other in a league and playoff format across three venues. Following the inclusion of SC East Bengal, this season will feature 115 games, up from 95 last season.

ISL 2020-21 will be televised live at 7.30 pm IST on Star Sports and live streamed on Disney+Hotstar and Jio TV.