Bambolim (Goa), Feb 6 (IANS) Second-placed ATK Mohun Bagan dished out a ruthless performance for a thumping 4-1 victory over Odisha FC in the Indian Super League (ISL), and the verdict closed the gap on leaders Mumbai City FC, at the GMC Stadium here on Saturday.
On the other hand, Odisha’s chances to qualify for semi-finals are all but over.
The opening half proved to be a cagey contest but two fine goals from either side meant the score line was all square at the break.
Cole Alexander’s equaliser for Odisha (45+1 minutes) was sandwiched between two goals from Manvir Singh in the 11th and 54th minutes. A quick-fire brace from Roy Krishna in the 83rd and 86th minutes led Bagan to their ninth win of the season.
Bagan showed intent early on and opened the scoring with their first shot on target. Manvir, receiving the ball on the right flank from Krishna, cut inside on his weaker foot before curling his shot at the far post, which snuck in after kissing the woodwork.
Bagan continued to attack after the opener. They fashioned another great chance to double their tally in the 40th minute but goalkeeper Arshdeep Singh came to Odisha’s rescue. Krishna held up the ball around the edge of the box and laid a pass for Marcelinho, who saw his first-time shot blocked by Arshdeep out for a corner.
After dominating their opponents for much of the half, the Mariners thought they would be heading into the break with the scoreline in their favour but Alexander scored a wonder goal in the dying minutes of the first half to take Odisha level.
Paul Ramfangzauva tried his luck from distance but his long-range effort came off the upright. Pritam Kotal cleared it away but gifted the ball to Alexander, who placed his shot towards the far corner, leaving Bagan goalkeeper Arindam Bhattacharja with no chance.
Bagan began the second half with more intent, desperate to grab the lead again. And it was Manvir again who helped them do that after combining well with Krishna.
Fijian Krishna shrugged Alexander off the ball and fed the Indian on the right. Manvir drilled his shot hard and low, this time with his right foot as Arshdeep let the ball slip in despite getting his hands to it.
Bagan were awarded a penalty late on when Alexander handled the ball in the box. Krishna made no mistake from the spot-kick to put the result beyond Odisha’s reach. He then added another goal to his name to make it 4-1 in Bagan’s favour.