ISL | NEUFC snatches late equaliser

It holds ATKMB after being on the backfoot for the most part.

NorthEast United FC found the equaliser off substitute Idrissa Sylla to hold ATK Mohun Bagan to a 1-1 draw in the first leg of the second semifinal of the ISL in Bambolim on Saturday. ATKMB led for a major part of the match, thanks to David Williams’ strike in the 34th minute.

NorthEast, quite uncharacteristically, appeared a bit subdued in the attacking third as ATKMB’s defence did well to contain forwards — Federico Gallego and Luis Machado — well ahead of the striking zone. However, with injured striker Deshorn Brown missing the match, NEUFC’s attack lacked teeth.

ATKMB breached NEUFC’s citadel in the 34th minute as a result of the fine understanding between Krishna and Williams. Krishna brought down a long floater on top of the NorthEast box and set up Williams with a short square pass.

The Australian forward created the space by dislodging his marker with a body feint and fired an angular grounder that wrong-footed NorthEast goalkeeper Subhasish Roy.

NorthEast came close to equalising in injury-time but Ashutosh Mehta’s header off a Gallego free-kick went off the crosspiece. However, Sylla found the target nodding home a Machado cross.

The result: NEUFC 1 (Idrissa Sylla 90+4) drew with ATKMB 1 (David Williams 34).

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