ATK Mohun Bagan‘s super-sub, David Williams scored a ripper in the closing minutes of the 66th match of the Hero Indian Super League and snatched away a 1-0 victory from a dejected Chennaiyin FC. Today’s match was definitely not a thriller, to say the least, and it was resilience that paid off for the Mariners. They kept at it and won the match from the cusp of another draw.
Chennaiyin FC looked good in the pitch but a second-place ATK Mohun Bagan just seemed too hot to handle for them. But the Marina Machans did exceptionally well to keep a clean sheet until the very end when just seconds before injury time, David Williams netted the winner.
The previous contest between these two teams saw a goalless draw and ATK Mohun Bagan goalkeeper Arindam Bhattacharya put in a Man of the match performance. These time, ATK Mohun Bagan was desperate to turn it to their favour. The Mariners are currently placed at a comfortable 2nd position. However, they have had their problems creating chances from free play, and have scored more than half of their goals from set-pieces. Conversely, they have also had the most number of clean sheets and have conceded just one goal from open play, which proves their incredible defence.
On the other hand, Chennaiyin FC has had a fair share of problems too. They are the lowest goal-scorers of this season, largely due to the inability in converting goal opportunities. Also, they are the highest in conceding goals from the corner this season, which repeated again tonight.
It was a somewhat evenly balanced match from the get-go. The first real chance of the match came in the 38th minute when Pritam Kotal played a long throw inside the box. It found Manvir Singh on the right but there was nobody in the centre to collect his cross and it was a golden opportunity wasted. The teams went to half-time with no goals scored.
Chennaiyin FC too had a chance in the 51st minute when Reagan Singh took a freekick from a dangerous position. His shot travelled towards the far post. It was Mariners’ Sandesh Jhingan who came to the rescue. He timed his jump and headed it out of danger. ATK Mohun Bagan also lost a huge opportunity in the 74th minute as Vishal Keith leapt to his left to deny Javier Hernandez‘s powerful curled shot towards the right corner. It was a definite goal had the goalkeeper erred in the timing of his dive.
Since then, there were some half opportunities that were created, but none of them was consequential enough to pose a threat to the scorers. The winning goal finally came in the dying moments of the match when substitute David Williams headed in an inviting inswinging corner from Javier Hernandez’s superb delivery. It was a sensational goal and goalkeeper Vishal Kaith had no way to get there in time for the save. Tiri also contributed when it mattered the most in the last minute as he made a goal-line clearance to seal the win. There were no other goals and ATK Mohun Bagan had won with a thrilling finish.
Hero of the Match: DAVID WILLIAMS
Javier Hernandez bagged the DHL Winning Pass of the Match award for his immaculate corner in the 90th minute and David Williams won the Hero of the Match award for his superb winning goal with which ATK Mohun Bagan now closed the gap between them and league toppers Mumbai City FC.
With this win, ATK Mohun Bagan got out of their two-match winless run. Now they are slated to face NorthEast United FC on the 26th of January. Chennaiyin FC, on the other hand, will face league toppers Mumbai City FC on 25th January.