In the nick of time: Idrissa Sylla kept NEUFC alive in the semifinal with this injury-time header.
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NorthEast United FC found the equaliser off substitute Idrissa Sylla to hold ATK Mohun Bagan to a 1-1 draw in the first leg of the second semifinal of the ISL in Bambolim on Saturday. ATKMB led for a major part of the match, thanks to David Williams’ strike in the 34th minute.
NorthEast, quite uncharacteristically, appeared a bit subdued in the attacking third as ATKMB’s defence did well to contain forwards — Federico Gallego and Luis Machado — well ahead of the striking zone. However, with injured striker Deshorn Brown missing the match, NEUFC’s attack lacked teeth.
ATKMB breached NEUFC’s citadel in the 34th minute as a result of the fine understanding between Krishna and Williams. Krishna brought down a long floater on top of the NorthEast box and set up Williams with a short square pass.
The Australian forward created the space by dislodging his marker with a body feint and fired an angular grounder that wrong-footed NorthEast goalkeeper Subhasish Roy.
NorthEast came close to equalising in injury-time but Ashutosh Mehta’s header off a Gallego free-kick went off the crosspiece. However, Sylla found the target nodding home a Machado cross.
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