ISL: Garcia's header helps Atletico de Kolkata beat NorthEast United
Kolkata: Luis Garcia fired in a stunning header in the second-half to help Atletico de Kolkata end their four-match winless run by registering a 1-0 win over NorthEast United FC in their return leg ISL fixture at the Vivekananda Yuva Bharati Krirangan here Tuesday.
Garcia struck in the 51st minute, beating the towering Spanish World Cup winner Joan Capdevilla in the middle and the win helped ATK go three points clear of Chennaiyin FC in the lead position.
It was Borja Fernandez who brilliantly intercepted the ball and passed it on to Jofre Mateu whose measured cross from the left set up Garcia for the matchwinner.
Atletico now have 16 points from nine matches. They have four away and one home game left.
The scoreline could easily have been 2-0 but sub Arnal Llibert squandered an easy opportunity after being set up by Sanju Pradhan in front of an open net.
If NEUFC were brilliant with their defence, they were equally pathetic with their attack with the Indian duo of Durga Boro and Alen Deory wasting chances which derailed their recovery plans.
NEUFC had the best chance in the 83rd minute when Alen put in a great ball inside the six-yard box but an unmarked Seimeinlen Doungel wasted the free header only to put the ball over the bar.
Earlier, NEUFC made two changes to their starting line-up bringing in Massamba Lo Sambou in the central midfield and Durga Boro up front in place of Len Doungel and James Keene.
ATK, on the other hand, replaced Biswajit Saha with N Mohanraj in the backline in the only change to their line-up.