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ATK reclaim top spot in ISL, blank NorthEast United 3-0

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Williams, Krishna shine

ATK celebrate taking the lead against NorthEast United.

KUWAIT CITY, Dec 8: Atletico de Kolkata (ATK) reclaimed the top spot in the Indian Super League with a thumping 3-0 win against NorthEast United FC at the Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium Saturday.

Man of the match, David Williams scored in the eleventh minute and two from Roy Krishna in the 35th, and 90+4th minutes ensured the so far undefeated NorthEast get the taste of their first loss this season. With six goals to his credit, Krishna leads the list of goal scorers.

With this win ATK have 14 points from seven matches while the Highlanders, who have 10 points, slipped to fourth.

Star striker Asamoah Gyan had a chance to put NorthEast in front within two minutes when he chested a lob over the defence by Lalthathanga Khawlhring but the Ghanaian striker’s meek effort was kept out by goalkeeper Arindam Bhattacharya.

Minutes later, the star striker was replaced by Maximiliano Barriero following an injury.

In the 11th minute, a defensive lapse allowed Williams to give ATK the lead. Prabir Das ran down the flank unmarked and latched onto Edu Garcia’s through-ball and found Williams at the far post with a cross. The forward out-jumped his marker to head the ball home.

Since then, ATK threatened the hosts with quick counterattacks and doubled the lead before the break. Williams fed Krishna who outpaced the visitors’ defence, dropped his shoulder to get past the last defender Wayne Vaz and beat Subhasish Roy.

ATK continued to pose a threat after the change of ends. Minutes into the second half, Krishna missed a chance to score his second goal when Williams set him up in front of the goal. The striker sent his effort wide with an empty net in front.

In the injury time Krishna made amends and scored his second to put the issue beyond doubt.

NorthEast found it hard to create clear-cut opportunities. Martin Chaves’ 30-yarder flew harmlessly over the bar. Khwalhring’s looping ball into the box found Nikhil Kadam with just the keeper to beat, but the winger failed to control his header.

The two-goal cushion allowed ATK to drop deeper and to make it harder for their opponents, whose lack of final touch meant there was no comeback for the home crowd.