ISL 2018: Vieira strike gives ATK full points

Updates from : The Hindu :

The home team returns to winning ways, has 10 points from seven outings

ATK banked on Gerson Vieira’s late strike to notch up a hard-fought 1-0 win over FC Pune City and record its third victory in the Indian Super League Season-5 at the Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan here on Sunday.

ATK’s return to winning ways helped it gather 10 points from seven outings and leapfrog Kerala Blasters to take the sixth place.

The win also improved ATK’s poor track record against Pune.

ATK played on expected lines, showing good coordination between its different departments and pressing hard to put pressure on a depleted Pune.

The host not only possessed the ball for most part of the opening half, but also created umpteen chances. Only, it did not have the luck to convert those into goals.

Narrow miss

Manuel Lanzarote’s free-kick curled away from the target narrowly as early as in the sixth minute. The Spaniard faced similar fate more than once.

Lanzarote’s left-footer from just outside the box hitting the right post increased the ATK supporters’ frustration.

The Spaniard made crucial contributions in building up moves and launching attacks, but could not break the deadlock in the first 45 minutes.

Balwant’s long ranger got rebounded off Pune ’keeper Kamaljit Singh but the unchallenged Lanzarote inside the opposition penalty area was not in a position to make use of the opportunity.

Rasping grounder

A few minutes before the breather, Lanzarote delivered a rasping diagonal grounder after receiving an accurate pass from Gersonn Vieira but the ball beat the diving Pune custodian and the right upright just marginally.

Pune deserved credit for showing composure and defending sturdily, under the leadership of captain Gurtej Singh and the valiant Kamaljit. It earned two yellow cards in the process but was able to protect its goal.

The visitors didn’t let go the rare chances that came their way to threaten the home post.

The story continued in a similar fashion for much of the second half. ATK kept missing chances, particularly Santos, Vieira and Lanzarote, as Pune weathered all the blows — including two more bookings — before the home side’s persistence paid off in the 82nd minute.

A fine move culminated with Jayesh Rane crossing it from the right and Vieira heading it in to spread joy among the 15000-plus supporters in the stands.

The result: ATK 1 (Vieira 82) bt FC Pune City 0.

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