ATK Mohun Bagan are all set to take on NorthEast United FC at the GMC Stadium in Bambolim on Saturday, March 6, in the first leg of the second Hero ISL semi-final. In the two league meetings between the two this 2020-21 season, the Mariners have got the better of the Highlanders on one occasion while being on the losing side of the tie in another. Hence, this semi-final encounter sets up perfectly for both sets of fans as a first-leg advantage is sure to be of major importance ahead of the second and decisive one.
As two counter-attacking teams clash, we take a look at all that’s there to expect from this mega encounter.
NORTHEAST UNITED FC
The Highlanders enter this fixture on the back of a massive 10-game unbeaten streak, which saw them comfortably registering third place on the Hero ISL table. Interim Head Coach Khalid Jamil has brought a turnaround in the fortunes of NorthEast after former head coach Gerard Nus was shown the door by the management. The club is yet to lose a match under his leadership and also managed to defeat the Kolkata giants when they faced them last time in the league stages.
Counter-attacking has been the highlight for NorthEast this season and something they will want to apply to full strength when facing a solid ATKMB defensive wall, which has been the most frugal in letting opponents score this season. If they stop the solid ATKMB attackers from scoring first, they have a great chance to take a big advantage onto the next leg. Federico Gallego has been NorthEast’s star performer this season and will be the biggest threat when going forward and creating chances.
ATK MOHUN BAGAN
The Mariners have to pull themselves up from the disappointing loss against Mumbai City FC last Sunday, which snatched the Hero ISL League Shield from them. One of the most consistent teams in the league, with the best defensive record in the league and a solid attacking front, ATK Mohun Bagan also need to utilise their counter-attacking strength to the fullest to ensure they enter the second leg with goal advantage on their side.
Antonio Lopez Habas is yet to win the first leg of a semi-final in all his years in the Hero ISL, but that won’t deter the Spaniard from plotting a strategy that can upstage Khalid Jamil’s Highlanders. Roy Krishna has been the standout performer this season yet again and currently lead the Golden Boot race. Though he has failed to find the back of the net in ATKMB’s last two fixtures, one would only be foolish to underestimate the impact this Fijian can have on proceedings.
NorthEast United FC (4-3-3): Subhasish Roy (GK), Provat Lakra, Dylan Fox, Benjamin Lambot, Nim Dorjee, Imran Khan, Khassa Camara, Lalengmawia, Deshorn Brown, Federico Gallego, Suhair Vadakkepeedika
WHERE TO WATCH NORTHEAST UNITED FC VS ATK MOHUN BAGAN
The Hero ISL Semi-Final Leg 1 match between NorthEast United FC and ATK Mohun Bagan will be broadcasted in India on March 6 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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