Roy Krishna struck a late goal from a penalty as ATK Mohun Bagan beat FC Goa by a solitary goal to return to winning ways in the Indian Super League here on Wednesday.
All the action centred around the last 10 minutes in the intriguing clash and it was the Fijian star forward who found the back of the net from a penalty in the 85th minute to seal three points for the Mariners in a dramatic fashion.
It was FC Goa’s inexperienced substitute Aiban Dohling who conceded the soft penalty, bringing down Krishna inside the box, which changed the fate of the match.
This happened just five minutes after Carl McHugh brought down Jorge Mendoza with a nudge but referee Rahul Kumar Gupta waved away FC Goa players’ appeals for a penalty.
Credit should also be given to ATKMB goalkeeper Arindam Bhattacharja who stood tall with some delightful saves to ensure a clean slate.
The win took ATKMB to second spot with 13 points from six matches, level with Mumbai City FC who are ahead on goal difference.
This was ATKMB’s first win in three matches as they had slipped behind following their loss to Jamshedpur FC and a draw against Hyderabad FC after they had started off with three back-to-back wins.
It was an intense, cagey and tactical first-half of football from both the sides but neither could break the deadlock.
The Mariners looked the better side and had the best chance of the first-half in the 40th minute but Williams’ powerful left-footer rattled off the upright.
The Gaurs, on the other hand, were unable to breach ATKMB’s defence and test Bhattacharja.
After the break, FC Goa had their first chance in the 57th minute when Alberto Noguera came close inside the box but his header was denied by Bhattacharja diving to his left.
The Juan Ferrando-coached side stepped up the intensity, pressing ISL’s all-time top Indian assist provider Brandon Fernandes into the attack in the 65th minute.
But the Mariners’ defence stayed compact and parried all the attacks before the penalty in favour of ATKMB which broke the deadlock.
FC Goa nearly scored an equaliser in the dying moments of the stoppage time when youngster Saviour Gama’s powerful 35-yard shot was tipped over the bar by Bhattacharja.