Manuel Lanzarote scored two brilliant first-half free-kicks in the 3rd and 33rd minutes to seal all the three points for ATK. Mario Arques could only score a consolation goal in the 82nd minute for the visitors.
Amar Tomar Kolkata (ATK) gave a huge boost to their chances of landing a top-four finish by posting a dominating performance against Jamshedpur FC in the Indian Super League (ISL) at the Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan, Kolkata, on Sunday.
Manuel Lanzarote scored two well-taken first-half free-kicks in the 3rd and then in the 33rd minute. The latter proved to be the winner as Steve Coppell’s men sealed all the three points. Mario Arques did manage to score late, a headed attempt in the 82nd minute, but that only proved to be a consolation goal for Jamshedpur.
The win helped the Kolkata-based rise to the fifth place in the table, with a head-to-head superiority over Jamshedpur. After 14 matches, both teams are tied on 20 points.
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The host’s first strike came early on after Dhanachandra Singh mistimed his tackle and brought Edu Garcia on the edge of the box in the 3rd minute. Manuel Lanzarote then took an excellent free-kick. The ball beat the wall on its way, also flew past the diving goalkeeper Subrata Paul right into the bottom right corner of the net.
The early goal turned the match head on, with strategies being switched. ATK was content to sit back and absorb pressure, leading to Jamshedpur being unable to create much of an attacking threat.
Lanzarote was handed another go at the goal from free-kick in the 16th minute. The Spanish forward aimed for the same corner, but Paul was more than prepared this time around, tipping the ball away.
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Jamshedpur decided to utilize from the wide areas to break the ATK resistance. In one of such threats, Memo forwarded Farukh Choudhary running down the right flank. However, the latter drilled cross was cleared for a corner kick by a vigilant Arnab Mondal. Pratik Choudhary could only direct a free header from the resulting set-piece over the bar.
Lanzarote and Edu Garcia combined well to almost replicate the first goal and double the lead in the 33rd minute. As in the build-up to the opening goal, Dhanachandra was the culprit as he stopped a darting Edu Garcia with a crunching tackle on the edge of the penalty box. Lanzarote then did the needful, finding the top right corner with another outstanding free-kick.
The goal seemed to do wonders for Lanzarote’s confidence, as Jamshedpur were struggling to catch up with his emanating threat. Like the forward’s dangerous ball in for Everton Santos was held by Subrata before the striker could reach it.
Minutes later, Lanzarote came with another finesse effort on the target, giving goalkeeper another task of saving.
Jamshedpur FC tried hard to get themselves back in the contention in the second half, but breaking ATK’s resistance was proving to be tough.
They went very close in the 81st minute when Bikash Jairu chipped towards the far post. An onrushing Jerry Mawihmingthanga received the ball, but his close-range shot, unfortunately, hit the crossbar.
A minute later, Jamshedpur finally pulled a goal back, this time through Arques. It all started with a short corner-kick move started by Jairu. His delivery met an unmarked Arques emerged the highest to head in.