Hyderabad FC remained unbeaten in the 2020-21 ISL, drawing 1-1 against ATK Mohun Bagan at the Fatorda Stadium, on Friday. Manvir Singh had given ATKMB the lead six minutes before the hour mark, bit within ten minutes Joao Victor equalised from the penalty spot.
With coach Manuel Marquez Roca suspended following a red against Jamshedpur FC, assistant coach Thangboi Singto led the team on the sidelines, with three changes to the team that drew 1-1 with Jamshedpur ten days ago -- Subrata Paul, Souvik Chakrabarti and Nikhil Poojary. HFC started with just two foreigners after an injury crisis in the squad.
Antonio Habas, meanwhile, made two changes to the ATKMB XI that lost to Jamshedpur FC on Monday with Sumit Rathi and Manvir Singh starting the game.
In the first half, Roy Krishna created multiple chances and nearly scored his fifth goal of the season, but former India keeper Subrata Paul kept his side in the game with some brilliant saves.
ATKMB had their first shot on target as early as in the 7th minute, but Krishna's low effort was comfortably saved. Minutes later, he almost put his side ahead when he leapt highest to meet a Prabir Das cross, but a diving Paul kept out his glancing header.
Yet another chance went begging for ATKMB when Edu Garcia's free kick found Krishna in the attacking third. He made a perfect run and shot with the right, only to see his low shot go wide.
Paul was in the thick of action throughout the first half. He denied Prabir Das with a diving save and later came with a double stop to deny Krishna and Edu Garcia.
The goal came via direct play from Manvir Singh. A poor goal kick from Paul was collected by Manvir, who immediately took on the Hyderabad defence. A superb turn of pace took him away from two covering midfielders, before a deflection fell back to his feet in the box, which he smashed powerfully into the top corner.
Arindam Bhattacharja nearly gifted HFC the equaliser when he fumbled in dealing with Liston Colaco's cross but recovered to stop the ball being bundled into the net.
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Soon, though, Hyderabad's pressure told. Manvir was involved as he brought down Poojary in the box after neat interplay amongst the Hyderabad forwards. Joao Victor smashed it past Arindam. ATKMB hurled men forward to recapture the lead, but the HFC defence held firm to ensure they remained unbeaten this season.
After 4 games, HFC are in fifth, with 6 points. They play SC East Bengal on the 15th. ATKMB, meanwhile, remain second with 10 points in five. They play FC Goa next on the 16th.