David Williams loves scoring against Bengaluru FC. Before Monday, three of his latest goals in the Indian Super League (ISL) had come against BFC -- the ones from the previous season. The Australian got off the mark this season with a spectacular strike which proved the difference as ATK Mohun Bagan beat Bengaluru 1-0.
With the victory, ATK Bagan are now tied on points at the top of the standings with Mumbai City. However, they remain behind Mumbai on goal difference. Bengaluru FC, meanwhile, are four points behind the leaders.
Williams showed great control and composure to control a long diagonal ball by Carl McHugh right from the ATKMB half, before turning across the mouth of the Bengaluru post (right outside the area), and letting go of a strike to the far right corner, beyond the reach of Gurpreet Singh Sandhu.
The goal came in the 33rd minute. However, ATK Bagan had full control over the game before and after it, even as Bengaluru tried to wrest some momentum at midfield.
After the strike from ATKMB, Bengaluru FC seemed a bit heavy-footed, one thought. But the effort for autonomy by ATKMB defence to snatch a point and suffered their first loss from seven matches to remain on third position.
ATKMB started the first-half on the front foot and looked more threatening than their rivals. The Sunil Chhetri-captained side on the other hand looked clueless in their attacks and hardly troubled goalkeeper Arindam Bhattacharya. The inclusion of Edu Garcia also bolstered ATKMB as the Spanish winger looked fluid and put the Bengaluru defence under pressure early on.
In the 11th minute, a surging Garcia took the possession from Roy Krishna to raid the opponent''s box before Rahul Bheke thwarted an early danger. Looking a transformed side, ATKMB dominated the proceedings and Manvir Singh and Roy Krishna also came close to scoring early on.
Also Read | Real Kashmir FC Lift IFA Shield, their Maiden Major Silverware
But it was just after the half-hour cooling break, Williams hit the top gear when he got a long cross-field ball. He sidestepped beyond two defenders and then unleashed the strike to the top corner of the net. In the 51st minute, Williams almost completed his brace when Roy Krishna got the ball on the left inside the box and laid it back at the edge of the box for the Aussie. Williams hit it the first time and almost found the top corner again but this time it sailed over the bar.
Krishna almost doubled the lead after receiving a long ball from Tiri but his shot flew over the crosspiece from a one-on-one with Gurpreet. Bengaluru FC looked desperate to find a way through ATKMB''s defence and had their best opportunity to equalise in the 74th minute but Cleiton Silva missed a sitter from close range.
(With inputs from PTI)
Read more sports stories from Newsclick