ISL: Liston shines as ATK Mohun Bagan move to second spot with win over NEUFC

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ATK Mohun Bagan capitalized on Liston Colaco’s brilliant display to rise to second place after beating NorthEast United FC 3-1 in the Indian Super League here on Saturday.

Suhair Vadakkepeedika (17th) gave NEUFC the lead early on before Joni Kauko (22nd) equalized only for Liston (45th) to make it 2-1 just before halftime.

Liston outclassed NEUFC in the second half when he fed Manvir Singh (52nd) for the team’s third goal before giving way to Kiyan Nassiri in the 66th minute to cap another brilliant night.

The result means ATKMB now have 26 points from 14 games, two adrift of leaders Hyderabad FC who have played two more games. NEUFC remained bottom with 10 points in 17 games. ATKMB extended their unbeaten streak to 10 games.

ATKMB missed the services of key players Hugo Boumous and Carl McHugh as both suffered injuries in the last game.

Unsurprisingly, the Mariners started on the front foot with Liston Colaco’s early corner posing little threat and Manvir Singh’s effort saved by Subhasish Roy Choudhury.

Against the grain of the game, NEUFC took the lead. Marcelinho received a loose ball in the middle of the field and ran towards the ATKMB defense only to find Suhair, who struck from the edge of the area to beat Amrinder Singh into goal.

ATKMB returned to the game shortly after cutting off NEUFC’s joy when Kauko fired in from outside the box after Colaco without a NorthEast United shirt assisted him and closed out the Finland international’s account.

Suhair tried to double her lead, but shot over the top before Pritam Kotal headed in from a corner. Just before halftime, the Mariners took the lead on a Colaco goal to make it his seventh goal of the season. Kauko became provider this time, leaving the ball for Colaco after an incisive run for the latter to hit the ball into the bottom right corner.

ATKMB moved up a gear in the second period, Manvir found the back of the net as early as the 52nd minute after the exceptional Colaco snatched possession from him to send Manvir clear as the latter cut back to beat his marker and set up Subhashish.

Head coach Juan Ferrando also replaced Prabir Das with Sandesh Jhingan at half time, the star defender playing for the first time this season since returning from Croatian club HNK Šibenik.

NEUFC created a lot of chances after falling behind with imran khan, Hernán Santana and Marco Sahanek about to score. In the end, the verdigranate jerseys maintained their advantage and achieved two wins in two games to exert their authority.

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