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A Place in the Hero ISL Final Beckons for the Mariners

The Mariners are eyeing a place in the Hero ISL Final but have Khalid Jamil’s young and vibrant NorthEast United FC in front of them in the second leg of the second semi-final. The first leg at GMC Stadium in Bambolim ended all square (1-1) as Idrissa Sylla’s injury-time header meant that the Highlanders moved into the second leg with all to play.

Both sides created plenty of chances in the first leg but were wasteful in the final third. David Williams on 34th minute broke the deadlock for the Mariners as the Australian scored a remarkable goal to outwit the NorthEast defence. It looked pretty comfortable for Antonio Lopez Habas’ team and they were two minutes away from taking a lead in the second leg but it wasn’t before Sylla equalised for the Highlanders.

Both sides have understood what their opponent has to offer in the first leg and with the spot in the Hero ISL Final on the line, expect a cracker of an encounter at the Fatorda Stadium.

ATK MOHUN BAGAN

The Mariners were disappointed in losing out on the AFC Champions League spot on goal difference a week back but now their eyes are stuck on the Hero ISL Final spot and would desire nothing less than the trophy after coming this far.

Senor Habas would be gutted to see his side concede a late goal in the first leg and not be able to take the lead in the second leg. This draw became the only match in which David Williams scored and ATK Mohun Bagan failed to win the game. The positives were that without the regular centre-halves, the Mariners’ defence kept the opposition attackers at bay and didn’t look flustered.

The team would be running late fitness tests on Sandesh Jhingan and Edu Garcia both of who missed the first leg due to injury concerns.

NORTHEAST UNITED FC

Khalid Jamil’s NorthEast United are on a dream run ever since the Indian coach took over the reins of the club. The team is unbeaten under Jamil and the Highlanders’ fan groups have plenty of reasons to smile. His team has already beaten the Mariners in the league stage and the draw late in the first leg would be motivating for the young coach.

NorthEast has never played in the Hero ISL Final and Jamil could lead them to their most successful season if they go past the Mariners. A key thing to remember is that the league has scrapped the away goal rule in the semi-finals so the Highlanders have all the chance to book the place in the final.

PREDICTED LINE-UPS

ATK Mohun Bagan (4-4-2): Arindam Bhattacharja (GK); Prabir Das, Pritam Kotal, Tiri, Subhasish Bose; Carl McHugh, Lenny Rodrigues, Marcelinho, Manvir Singh; David Williams, Roy Krishna

NorthEast United FC (4-3-3): Subhashish Roy (GK); Ashutosh Mehta, Dylan Fox, Nim Dorjee, Gurjinder Kumar; Lalengmawia, Khassa Camara, Federico Gallego; Suhair Vadakkepeedika, Luis Machado, Deshorn Brown

WHERE TO WATCH HERO ISL LIVE The Hero ISL Semi-Final Leg 2 match between ATK Mohun Bagan and NorthEast United FC will be broadcasted in India on March 9 from 7:30 PM IST in Star Sports 1, Star Sports 2, Star Sports 3, Star Sports 1 Hindi, and their respective HD TV channels. You can also live stream the match on Disney+ Hotstar and JioTV.

 

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