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ATK Mohun Bagan 2-1 (3-2 on agg) NorthEast United FC: 4 Things We Learned as Mariners set a date with Mumbai for 2021 ISL finals

ATK Mohun Bagan players celebrate after scoring their second goal against NorthEast United FC in their ISL match (Image Courtesy: ISL Media)
ATK Mohun Bagan players celebrate after scoring their second goal against NorthEast United FC in their ISL match (Image Courtesy: ISL Media)
Abhishek Kundu

ATK Mohun Bagan cruised to the 2021 Indian Super League (ISL) finals as they beat NorthEast United FC 2-1 in the second leg of their semi-final clash at the Fatorda Stadium in Margao.

ATK Mohun Bagan will now face Mumbai City FC in the finals on 13th March.

David Williams broke the deadlock in the 38th minute to give ATK Mohun Bagan the lead. Manvir Singh doubled it in the 68th minute by slamming the ball home with his left foot. VP Suhair did pull one goal back for NorthEast United FC in the 74th minute. However, it turned out to be a mere consolation goal.

Here are 4 things we learned from the match.


#4 Ineffective Federico Gallego lets NorthEast United FC down

NorthEast United FC's Federico Gallego looked a shadow of his past performances (Image Courtesy: ISL Media)
NorthEast United FC's Federico Gallego looked a shadow of his past performances (Image Courtesy: ISL Media)

NorthEast United FC pinned their hopes on Federico Gallego to produce a moment of magic. The Uruguayan scored 4 goals and bagged 6 assists for his side before the match, but was ineffective against a resolute ATK Mohun Bagan defense.

Gallego took only one shot in the game which was off-target. The likes of Tiri and Sandesh Jhingan successfully dealt with his crosses and free-kicks. In a crunch game like the semi-finals, a better outing was expected from Gallego. He was eventually substituted in the 70th minute to make way for Deshorn Brown.


#3 Sandesh Jhingan and Tiri bring solidarity to ATK Mohun Bagan's defense

Sandesh Jhingan and Tiri were like a rock in the back for ATK Mohun Bagan
Sandesh Jhingan and Tiri were like a rock in the back for ATK Mohun Bagan

In the first leg encounter between NorthEast United FC and ATK Mohun Bagan, Antonio Habas rested both Sandesh Jhingan and Tiri due to injury concerns. A new-look pairing of Carl McHugh and Pritam Kotal took charge but looked shaky.

However, the trusted duo of Jhingan and Tiri took charge in the second leg and performed their duties with aplomb. Jhingan ended the match with 6 clearances and one interception while Tiri made 9 clearances and one tackle.

The only goal which ATK Mohun Bagan conceded came from a set-piece. The duo kept Idrissa Sylla and later Deshorn Brown quiet.


#2 NorthEast United FC miss gilt-edged opportunities

VP Suhair scored a goal for NorthEast United FC but his teammates failed to capitalize on the momentum to equalize (Image Courtesy: ISL Media)
VP Suhair scored a goal for NorthEast United FC but his teammates failed to capitalize on the momentum to equalize (Image Courtesy: ISL Media)

The first half looked like one-way traffic in favor of ATK Mohun Bagan, but NorthEast United FC came with all guns blazing after the change of sides. Despite putting more bodies forward, the Highlanders came up short.

In the 47th minute, VP Suhair took a shot from inside the box but his effort hit the crossbar. The former Mohun Bagan player finally scored a goal after the opposition defenders failed to clear their lines off a corner-kick.

However, ten minutes after the goal, NorthEast United FC squandered a glorious opportunity to level things. Idrissa Sylla won a penalty for his side but Luis Machado blazed his shot across the bar.

In the 86th minute, Ashutosh Mehta failed to keep his shot on target from inside the six-yard box. For a spirited NorthEast United FC side under Khalid Jamil, they only have themselves to blame for ending their unbeaten streak.


#1 Roy Krishna powers ATK Mohun Bagan to the ISL finals

Roy Krishna brought his A-game against NorthEast United FC for ATK Mohun Bagan (Image Courtesy: ISL Media)
Roy Krishna brought his A-game against NorthEast United FC for ATK Mohun Bagan (Image Courtesy: ISL Media)

The commentators awarded the 'Hero of the Match' to Manvir Singh for his tireless efforts. But it was Roy Krishna whose individual brilliance sealed ATK Mohun Bagan a place in the finals.

NorthEast United FC's Dylan Fox tightly marked the Fijian and didn't let him get any breathing space. However, that didn't stop Krishna from playing the role of a provider.

In the 38th minute, he released David Williams with a through pass. The Aussie beat Mashoor Shereef and Ashutosh Mehta in the foot race to slam the ball home past the goalkeeper. In the build-up to the second goal, it was again Krishna who released Manvir on the right flank. The Indian international made no mistake in finding the back of the net.

In the final against Mumbai City FC, Roy Krishna needs to be at the top of his game once again to help ATK Mohun Bagan lift the title.


Edited by Rohit Mishra

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