Kolkata, Feb 3 (IANS) Atletico de Kolkata (ATK) boosted their chances of landing a top-four finish with a dominant performance to outsmart Jamshedpur FC 2-1 in an Indian Super League (ISL) contest at the Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan here on Sunday.
Two brilliant first-half free-kicks by Manuel Lanzarote in the 3rd and 33rd minutes sealed three points for Steve Coppell’s men. Mario Arques headed in a consolation goal for visitors Jamshedpur in the 82nd minute.
The Kolkata-based team moved to the fifth place in the standings with a head-to-head advantage over Jamshedpur. Both teams have 20 points each from 14 matches.
The hosts struck an early blow when Dhanachandra Singh’s mistimed tackle brought Edu Garcia’s dribble to a halt on the edge of the box in the 3rd minute. Lanzarote’s excellent free-kick beat the wall and a diving goalkeeper Subrata Paul as it flew into the bottom right corner of the net.
Lanzarote had another chance from a free-kick in the 16th minute as the Spaniard aimed for the same corner from where he scored the goal but Paul tipped the ball away.
Edu Garcia and Lanzarote combined to hand ATK a 2-0 lead in the 33rd minute. Similar to the opening goal, Dhanachandra stopped Edu Garcia’s dart by bringing him down on the edge of the box and Lanzarote found the top right corner with a stunning free-kick.
Lanzarote had a free role in the attacking third and Jamshedpur struggled to contain the threat emanating from the ATK midfield.
The Spaniard’s dangerous ball in behind the defence for Everton Santos was smothered by Subrata before the striker could get to it. Minutes later, Lanzarote made a fine effort on target, with the goalkeeper making a save this time.
The visitors went close in the 81st minute. Bikash Jairu’s chip towards the far post was met by Jerry Mawhmingthanga but his close-range effort was denied by the crossbar.
Jamshedpur hit the post a minute later through Arques. A short corner-kick was sent to the near post by Jairu and an unmarked Arques leapt the highest to head in.