ATK Mohun Bagan failed to cross the Odisha FC hurdle for the second time in the tournament as it was held to a 1-1 draw in match 100 of the ISL at the Tilak Maidan Stadium on Thursday.
Redeem Tlang opened the scoring early for Odisha FC but ATKMB scored the equaliser minutes later when Joni Kauko converted from the spot. Mohun Bagan, which was held goalless by Odisha in the reverse fixture, thus fell behind in the race for the league winner’s shield.
The opening half panned out in Odisha FC’s favour, which created most of the chances but could not convert except once. Playing its fifth match in 17 days, ATKMB put up a listless show and conceded the goal in the fifth minute.
The Mariners defence was caught napping as it failed to clear a regulation cross from Jerry Mawihmingthanga, and Redeem made the most of the situation to tap home the lead.
The Mariners regrouped quickly and found the equaliser in the eighth minute after getting a penalty as Sahil Panwar clipped Hugo Boumous inside the box. Kauko found the net from the spot to draw level, but ATKMB could not regain the form and find a winner from a losing position as it so often has done throughout the season.
Odisha FC could have gone ahead in the 22nd minute when it was awarded a penalty, which appeared to be a misjudgment on the referee’s part.
ATKMB central-defender Tiri seemed to be falsely penalised for a tackle on the Odisha forward Aridai Suarez as the former had connected with the ball instead of the player. Amrinder Singh acted as the saviour and blocked the attempt of Javi Hernandez to keep the scoreline unaltered.
The second half saw a few attempts from Mohun Bagan, but it was not sharp enough to find the target. Roy Krishna, who was introduced early in the second half, was off-colour and got sent off as he saw a second yellow in the injury-time of the second half.