ATK Mohun Bagan end Bengaluru FC’s unbeaten run in ISL 2020-21

David Williams’ 33rd-minute strike was enough for ATK Mohun Bagan to consign Sunil Chhetri’s Bengaluru FC to their first ISL 2020-21 defeat.

By Rahul Venkat ·

In what was billed as one of the big matches of the season, ATK Mohun Bagan triumphed over 2018-19 Indian Super League champions Bengaluru FC 1-0 at the Fatorda Stadium, Goa on Monday.

Australian striker David Williams, who formed a fearsome strike partnership with Roy Krishna that gave the erstwhile ATK the title last season, scored the only goal of the game in the 33rd minute. It was Williams’ first goal of ISL 2020-21.

Incidentally, David Williams’ four of his eight career ISL goals have come against Bengaluru FC.

ATK Mohun Bagan’s five-man defence, led by Sandesh Jhingan and Subhashish Bose, kept Sunil Chhetri and his fellow strikers at bay as Bengaluru FC were unable to create any meaningful chances.

It was the first loss in seven games for Bengaluru FC, who were the only unbeaten team in ISL 2020-21 before last night.

Bengaluru FC head coach Carles Cuadrat changed his starting line-up for the game to avoid fatigue to his senior players. The game against ATK Mohun Bagan was Bengaluru FC’s fifth match in 18 days.

“It has been a difficult December. So, I tried to put on some fresh legs and new players. That is why I gave an opportunity to Udanta Singh, Deshorn Brown, and Rahul Bheke,” Cuadrat said after the match.

“We were very competitive in the game and I am happy with all the players because they were trying to score even till the 95th minute.”

David Williams’ first-half strike brought an end to Bengaluru FC’s unbeaten streak in ISL 2020-21. Photo: ISL Media.

The win consolidated ATK Mohun Bagan’s second place in the table, bringing them level with Mumbai City FC at 16 points in seven games. However, Mumbai City FC lead the table by virtue of their better goal difference.

The match represented a change in strategy for ATK Mohun Bagan, who had never scored in the first half before this game.

ATKMB head coach Antonio Lopez Habas was happy with the side’s perfect tactical execution.

"We pressurised them well in the first 45 minutes with the high press. We had a different plan to go with as compared to the last match," Habas said in his post-match press conference.

“I think my team’s performance was perfect. We had to respect Bengaluru because they are a very difficult team to counter against. They are very dangerous from set-pieces. Today, the team had the personality to win.”

Bengaluru FC will now have a six-day break before their next fixture against Jamshedpur FC on December 28 and will be looking to get back to winning ways.

Lead Photo: ISL Media