Bengaluru FC kept their unbeaten run intact in the ISL with a 1-0 win over ATK at the Sree Kanteerava Stadium in Bengaluru on Thursday. A 36th-minute header from Erik Paartalu was enough for the home side to get back to winning ways after two consecutive draws.
The match was a thoroughly entertaining affair as both the sides had their chances. It was Bengaluru who were successful in making their only opportunity count. Paartalu’s goal was the only shot they had on target.
ATK, despite putting up a better show, had to leave empty-handed. The Kolkata side were definitely the better side on the pitch with some impressive counter attacks and passing football. However, missing plenty of chances ultimately cost them the match.
With the win, Bengaluru consolidated their top position on the table. They now have 27 points from 11 matches, six clear of the second-best Mumbai City FC. ATK are languishing at the sixth place with 16 points from 12 encounters and need to pull off all sorts to qualify for the playoffs.
Let us look at the five talking points of the match:
#5 Attacking brands of football but ATK must rue missed chances
For the first round of matches this season, ATK coach Steve Coppell opted for safety first strategy, much like his predecessors. It means, concentrating on your defence and then try to score. That hasn’t worked out so far though, as ATK have conceded 11 goals, one more than what they have scored.
So for a change against Bengaluru, ATK opted an attacking strategy as the coach promised a day earlier that they will fight for the three points. ATK could have fulfilled their aim, had there been two goals by their name.
But to be honest, ATK dished out an impressive game of football, the reason why the match looked an exciting affair throughout. Remembering their goalless draws against FC Goa and Mumbai City FC in recent times – that last of which could easily be termed as the most boring match of the tournament – this was much better.
ATK came with a purpose, to keep their opponents busy with clever moves. They did it perfectly, pushing their opponent to the final line. But a goal remained elusive for them.
They got chances. Balwant Singh missed four, Jayesh Rane, Everton Santos even Manuel Lanzarote could’ve found the scoresheet but their profligacy deprived ATK of a deserved win.