Hyderabad FC confirmed a second-place finish in the league stage of the Indian Super League after a 1-0 win against ATK Mohun Bagan at the G.M.C. Balayogi Athletic Stadium on Tuesday. Bartholomew Ogbeche came on as a substitute and scored the only goal of the match in the 86th minute as the Mariners went three successive games without a win for the first time this season, and are now only one point ahead of seventh-placed Odisha FC.
The visitors looked aggressive in the first half as they attempted eight shots but only managed to keep two of those on target. Two minutes into the game, Hyderabad FC hit the ground running after Mohammad Yasir moved into the central part of the pitch from the right flank before seeing Vishal Kaith deny his long-range effort at full stretch.
Dimitri Petratos was hunting for his ninth goal of the season when he tested Gurmeet Singh from range. The keeper palmed the striker’s effort over the bar before seeing his glancing header from the resulting corner fly wide at the far post.
Chinglensana Singh made his first appearance for Hyderabad FC after being on the sidelines for two months. The 26-year-old was caught on the wrong foot when Liston Colaco charged in before scuffing his shot during one of ATKMB’s attacking moves.
Hyderabad FC attempted just two shots in the first half but managed four in the opening five minutes of the second half. Four minutes past the hour-mark, Joel Chianese’s glancing header from Yasir’s freekick was on target but flew straight into the arms of the keeper. As the game entered its final quarter, Federico Gallego was picked out in the box by Asish Rai.
The midfielder’s deft touch helped him skip past Chinglensana but narrowed the angle to goal down as his effort was collected comfortably by Gurmeet. Roles reversed in the 78th minute when Gallego lofted the ball into the path of Rai inside the box. The full-back reached it but could not keep it on target.
In the 79th minute, Ogbeche hopped onto the pitch, replacing Siverio. Seven minutes after coming on, the striker was picked out at the edge of the box by Herrera. Ogbeche took a touch, steadied himself and buried the winner past Kaith at the far post to clinch all three points for Hyderabad FC.
The result marked another blow to ATKMB, who have now scored only three goals in their last six games, and have fallen into the lower half of the playoffs tussle after being contenders for the top three not long ago. Both sides will be back in action on February 18. Hyderabad FC take on Jamshedpur FC. Meanwhile, ATKMB will look to try and scupper a third-place finish for Kerala Blasters when they host them.