ATK Mohun Bagan struck twice in three second-half minutes to pick up a crucial 2-1 victory against Hyderabad FC in the ISL last night. Liston Colaco and Manvir Singh scored for the Mariners, while Joel Chianese pulled one back for the Nizams.
ATK Mohun Bagan began the game brightly as they kept possession and moved the ball around well. They also received an early chance when Asish Rai gave the ball away to David Williams just outside the box in the 10th minute.
Williams slipped in Manvir Singh, who beat the onrushing keeper and forced a last-man clearance from Chinglensana Singh. However, the move was called back for offside.
The Mariners had another good chance in the 18th minute. A cross from Prabir Das was flicked on by Juan Fernandez, with the ricochet falling to Hugo Boumous. The Frenchman took a couple of touches to create some space in the box but fired his shot wide of the near-post.
Boumous came close once again barely a minute later. Subhasish Bose's cross fell to the ATK Mohun Bagan midfielder in the box. His shot deflected off Chinglensana Singh and almost wrong-footed Laxmikant Kattimani.
However, the keeper changed direction well to keep the ball out.
Bartholomew Ogbeche then received an opportunity for Hyderabad FC, firing a shot from distance. It seemed destined to beat Amrinder Singh but Bose got back on the line to clear it out.
The Nizams created another decent chance close to the 30-minute mark. Joel Chianese got ahead of Bose and sent a ball into the box that was half-cleared by the ATK Mohan Bagan defense.
It eventually fell to the onrushing Souvik Chakrabarti, whose first-time snapshot was tipped over by Amrinder Singh.
Hyderabad FC continued their ascendance when Rai dispossessed Bose and passed the ball to Nikhil Poojari. The winger charged forward down the right and sent in a dangerous cross that went right across the box.
Aniket Jadhav arrived late and connected with the ball but his shot was blocked by Lenny Rodrigues.
Joni Kauko, who replaced the injured Boumous in the final 10 minutes of the half, then got a shot on target with a powerful hit from distance. However, it was straight at Kattimani. That was the last meaningful effort of the half as the ISL teams went into the break with the game still goalless.
ATK Mohun Bagan weather late Hyderabad FC storm after frantic start to the second half
Both sides began the second half by matching each other step-for-step. Hyderabad FC substitute Rohit Danu came closest to opening the scoring when Chianese's free-kick wasn't cleared well enough by the ATK Mohun Bagan defense.
The ball dropped for Danu in the box and he fired a venomous shot but the youngster's effort cannonned back off the crossbar.
However, it was ATK Mohun Bagan who opened the scoring in the 56th minute. A long ball from Williams found Liston Colaco running through on goal, having started from his own half.
Colaco went one-on-one with Kattimani and threaded a neat right-footed finish into the far corner from a narrow angle.
The Nizams came close once again when Danu headed wide from inside the six-yard box following a corner. But the Mariners stung them for a second time shortly after. Another hopeful ball forward, this time from Kauko, caught the Hyderabad FC defense napping.
Manvir Singh latched onto the ball, dribbled past the goalkeeper and placed a delicate finish past two men on the line.
Manolo Marquez's side weren't ones to lie down though and found their way back into the game in the 67th minute. A pass from Akash Mishra down the left found Joao Victor, who unleashed a good hit from distance.
Amrinder Singh punched it out but it fell straight to Chianese, who slotted it home.
The Nizams came close again when Mohammad Yasir sent a good ball from the left to the other side of the box. Danu attacked it well but his shot at the near post was palmed over by Amrinder Singh.
Hyderabad FC seemed to get close once again when confusion ensued from a corner and saw Kauko miscue the ball to send it towards his own goal. However, Deepak Tangri got back to the goal-line to clear it out.
What followed was a wave of Hyderabad FC pressure as they threw bodies forward. However, Juan Ferrando's men did well to weather the storm.
ATK Mohun Bagan had the chance to kill the game off on the counter in the 86th minute as they outnumbered the Hyderabad FC defense. Colaco looked to square it but the ball went further than he anticipated.
Kiyan Nassiri reached the pass and squared it back for the unmarked Colaco, but he unbelievably put it wide with the goal gaping.
The Mariners winger missed another gilt-edged chance in the second minute of injury-time. A fantastic pass from Massiri found Colaco one-on-one with Kattimani and with half the pitch to himself.
The Hyderabad FC goalkeeper came out of his area to try and outmuscle Colaco, but he dribbled past him.
From a narrow angle, he attempted to blast the ball into the empty net but only put it into the stands with Manvir Singh, unmarked, waiting for a cross inside the box.
That led to a frantic final few minutes but ATK Mohun Bagan ultimately held on to take three precious points. They are now fourth in the ISL standings with 23 points from 13 games while Hyderabad FC remain top with 26 points from 15 matches.
To see today's ISL match results, click here.