ATK FC went back to the top of the ISL 2019-20 table courtesy a 3-1 win over Odisha FC at the Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan in Kolkata on Saturday. For Odisha, the loss marked a heavy blow for their top four ambitions with just two league matches remaining. Striker Roy Krishna scored a hat-trick to account for ATK’s three goals on the night. Also Read - ISL 2020/21: Esmael Goncalves' Brace Powers Chennaiyin FC to 2-1 Win Over Odisha FC
The match began in frantic pace with both sides on the hunt for an early goal. Both goalkeepers – Odisha’s Francisco Dorronsoro and ATK’s Arindam Bhattacharja – were forced into making important interventions early on to keep the scoreline undisturbed during the early storm. Also Read - ISL 2020/21: Diego Mauricio Scores Brace as Odisha FC Beat Kerala Blasters For First Win of Season
ATK created the first big chance of the match in the 7th minute as Roy Krishna played the ball to Prabir Das, who tried to lay it off for Edu Garcia. The Spaniard, though, failed to connect, allowing Shubham Sarangi to clear the ball for a corner. Also Read - ISL 2020/21: SC East Bengal Beat Odisha FC 3-1 to Secure First Win
Moments later, an Odisha counter-attack initiated by Xisco Hernandez set Jerry Mawihmingthanga free on the right. Arindam, however, was quick off his line to snuff out the danger. As the contest settled down a bit, it was the home side who seemed to have taken the upper hand. Krishna, Prabir and Garcia looked sharp as the trio combined to worry the Odisha backline on multiple occasions, albeit without the final product. The two teams headed into the break deadlocked at 0-0.
Four minutes after the restart, ATK found the all-important opener as Krishna peeled off his marker and slotted home his 11th goal of the season from a Javier Hernandez corner.
Odisha responded with two great chances to draw level within the next five minutes, but Nandhakumar Sekar and Xisco squandered their respective opportunities to score. Nandha failed to connect after being left unmarked during a free kick, while Xisco directed his shot straight at Arindam after latching onto a pin-point cross from the left.
The misses proved costly, as Krishna scored in quick succession to complete his hat-trick and make it 3-0 in ATK’s favour. After being set free by a long clearance by Javi, the Fijian drove into the box and chipped Dorronsoro for his second of the night. The hat-trick goal, meanwhile, was set up by Jayesh Rane’s cross from the right.
In the 67th minute, Manuel Onwu reduced the deficit for Odisha after directing Sarangi’s cross past Arindam and into the ATK goal. In an attempt to claw their way back into the contest, Odisha head coach Josep Gombau made all three substitutions together, bringing on Martin Guedes for Narayan Das, Daniel Lalhlimpuia for Vinit Rai and Arshdeep Singh for Dorronsoro.
The away side did create a few chances in the final 20 minutes of the match, but some composed defending and a couple of saves by Arindam kept the scoreline at 3-1 till the final whistle.