Roy Krishna’s 85th minute strike helped ATK Mohun Bagan beat Jamshedpur FC 1-0 and displace Mumbai City from the top of the Indian Super League (ISL) table. After a cagey affair which looked set to end in a goalless draw, Krishna’s late strike made the difference as Antonio Habas’ team edged out Jamshedpur FC at the Fatorda Stadium on Sunday.
Mumbai City FC, who Bagan displaced at the top by two points, have a game in hand which means that Habas’s team could go back to second place if Mumbai beat Bengaluru FC on Monday. The result also meant that Jamshedpur’s chances of making it to the playoffs are all but over.
Bagan took the upper hand in the first half after a cagey start in which both teams seemed to be prioritising caution over creativity. They had a penalty shout as early as the seventh minute when Roy Krishna went down in the box, under pressure from Peter Hartley, after being fed by David Williams. However, the referee ruled otherwise.
There were a few chances in the opening half-hour with Marcelinho going closest in the 28th minute when he crashed a shot against the side netting.
Bagan had another good opportunity soon after when Jhingan’s quick freekick found David Williams. His low shot was expertly diverted by Jamshedpur goalkeeper T.P. Rehenesh.
Jhingan had an opportunity off a corner at the stroke of halftime but he missed his chance to head the ball in.
The second half continued in the same vein though Jamshedpur coach Owen Coyle tried a more attacking approach with the introduction of Nerijus Valskis. However, with an hour gone, Jamshedpur was yet to register a shot on target — it was clear that their intention was to sit back and defend.
Meanwhile, Bagan kept on fashioning opportunities at the other end. Rehenesh was called twice into action in quick succession, both times to fend off Krishna. First, he forced a save from Rehenesh after being fed by Marcelinho. Then a rather hopeful shot from the flanks by the Fijian was gathered easily by the Jamshedpur keeper.
But Krishna was not to be denied for long. His goal came right after Bagan goalkeeper Arindam Bhattacharja had acrobatically kept out a header from Valskis that looked to be going in. And as was the case with a lot of times that Krishna had scored, it was David Williams who created it. After receiving the ball from the Australian, Krishna found the right-hand corner of the goal, past a diving Rehenesh, with a perfect finish.