ATK banked on Gerson Vieira's late header to notch up a hard-fought 1-0 win over FC Pune City and record its third victory in the 2018 Indian Super League Season at the Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan here on Sunday.
ATK's return to winning ways helped it gather 10 points from seven outings and leapfrog Kerala Blasters to take the sixth place on the ISL table.
The host had greater ball possession for majority of the opening half and also created umpteen chances. However, the side didn't have the luck to convert those chances into goals.
Manuel Lanzarote's curling free-kick narrowly missed the target as early as in the sixth minute and the Spaniard faced similar fate on more than one occassion.
Lanzarote's left-footer from just outside the box struck the right post in the 18th minute, much to the ire of the ATK supporters.
A few minutes before the breather, Lanzarote delivered a rasping diagonal grounder after receiving an accurate pass from Vieira but his attempt missed the right post marginally.
Pune City deserved credit for showing composure and defending sturdily, under the leadership of captain Gurtej Singh and the valiant Kamaljit Singh under the bar. The side earned two yellow cards in the process but was able to protect its goal for the opening 45 minutes.
The Pradyum Reddy-coached Pune side didn't let go of the rare chances that came its way to threaten the home post.
The story continued in a similar fashion for most part of the second half. ATK kept missing chances, prominently by Everton Santos, Vieira and Lanzarote, as Pune weathered all the blows – including two more bookings – before the home side's persistence paid off in the 82nd minute.
A fine move culminated with Jayesh Rane crossing it from the right and Vieira heading it past Kamaljit, much to the joy of the 15000-plus supporters in the stands.