Liston Colaco has been in brilliant form and he was the star of the show once again as ATK Mohun Bagan beat NorthEast United comfortably to climb to the second position in the Indian Super League table. They are currently on a 10-game unbeaten run, and the Juggernauts show little signs of slowing down.
ATK Mohun Bagan began the match in the absence of Hugo Boumous, Roy Krishna and Carl McHugh. To compensate for that, manager Juan Ferrando opted for a five-man midfield combination with Liston Colaco and Manvir Singh as the two strikers up front.
The Mariners dominated the early proceedings expectedly. Colaco’s early corner didn’t cause too many worries for NEUFC while another shot from Manvir Singh was comfortably saved by Subhasish Roy Choudhury.
Unexpectedly, it were NEUFC who took the lead against the run of play. Marcelinho worked his magic after getting hold of a loose ball in the middle of the park.
He made a darting run towards the unsettled ATK backline and then squared the ball to VP Suhair, who fired home from the edge of the box. Amrinder Singh in goal was unable to parry it away, and NEUFC had their tails up inside only 17 minutes.
However, the joy was short-lived for the Highlanders as Joni Kauko got on the scoresheet only five minutes later to restore parity. The Finn’s shot nestled into the back of the net from outside the area after being set up by Colaco.
The 23-year-old then put ATK Mohun Bagan ahead with his seventh goal of the ISL season. The Colaco-Kauko combination worked once again, with the latter being the provider this time around. He laid the ball for Colaco to smash into the bottom right corner past Subhasish Roy Choudhury.
Drilled with Ferrando’s instructions from the half-time break, the Mariners switched gears and put their foot on the pedal. The Spaniard also sent on Sandesh Jhingan to make his d appearance since returning to India from HNK Šibenik.
Colaco was in the thick of the action once again after he stole possession from the opposition and set up Manvir, who beat his marker to finish brilliantly in the 52nd minute. After securing a two-goal lead, ATKMB were able to take their foot off the pedal ever so slightly and tried to control the remainder of the match.
United came close to scoring on several occasions through Imran Khan, Hernan Santana and Marco Sahanek, but the scoreline ended 3-1 in favour of the Mariners. With that win, ATK Mohun Bagan are now only three points behind table-toppers Hyderabad FC but have two games in hand.
2021/22 Indian Super League top 4
|#||Team||Matches played||Goal difference||Points|
|2||ATK Mohun Bagan||14||+7||26|