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Manvir, Krishna score a brace each as ATKMB thrashes bottom-placed Odisha
ATK Mohun Bagan dished out a ruthless performance and closed down the gap on leader Mumbai City FC with a thumping 4-1 victory over Odisha FC in the Indian Super League at the GMC Stadium, Bambolim, on Saturday.
The result meant that the ‘Mariners’ closed the gap with Mumbai to three points. Odisha’s top-four chances are all but over. The opening half proved to be a cagey contest, but a goal each from either side meant the scoreline was all square at the break.
Cole Alexander’s equaliser for Odisha (45+1’) was sandwiched between two goals from Manvir Singh (11’, 54’) before a quick-fire brace from Roy Krishna (83’, 86’) led Mohun Bagan to its ninth win.
ATKMB showed intent early on and opened the scoring with its 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.
Mohun Bagan continued to attack after the opener, but lacked the cutting edge in the final third. It fashioned another great chance to double its 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 kick.
After dominating its opponent for much of the session, the ‘Mariners’ thought it would be heading into the break with the scoreline in its favour. But, Alexander had other plans, scoring a wonder goal in the dying minutes of the first half.
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 ATKMB keeper Arindam Bhattacharja with no chance.
Mohun Bagan began the second half with more intent, desperate to grab the lead again. And it was Manvir who helped it do that after combining well with Krishna.
The Fijian 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.
ATKMB was 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.
But the Fijian wasn’t done yet, adding another goal. Manvir flicked the ball towards Krishna, who beat Shubham Sarangi and raced into the box before finding the net.