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ISL 2020-21: Roy Krishna and David Williams — Indian Super League's deadliest duo

ISL 2020-21: Roy Krishna and David Williams — Indian Super Leagues deadliest duo


Updated: 13 March 2021 4:36 AM GMT

As the referee blew his final whistle on Monday night, ATK Mohun Bagan FC's Roy Krishna dropped to the ground, exasperated and yet content. His team had just ended Bengaluru FC's unbeaten streak in the Indian Super League (ISL) this season, and he has again persevered 95 minutes to constantly threaten the opposition.

On another side of the pitch, his teammate David Williams had a wide smile on his face as he was hugging assistant coach Manuel Cascallana. It was the Australian striker's solo effort that had been enough to see off Carles Cuadrat's men.

It was one of few occasions when Krishna and Williams hadn't known exactly where the other one was. Having previously played together at Wellington Phoenix in the A-League, the duo enjoy an excellent understanding. And that was pretty obvious under the lights at the Fatorda Stadium.


Williams, who had missed out a couple of matches due to injury issues, looked like he was back on song as he combined with Krishna like the old days. The Fijian himself was massive, his central forward play was too much for Juanan and Co. to handle.

Every time Krishna received the ball, with his back turned to the goal, he managed to keep hold of it before laying it off to Williams or Edu Garcia. Then, he would look to make a surging run in behind Bengaluru's defence line. A lobbed ball or a through pass would almost inevitably find him down the channel.

On the rare occasions when there was no space to do so, he would maintain his position, and let Edu, Williams and Manvir make the runs. Don't get it wrong, ATK Mohun Bagan are primarily built to create scoring opportunities for Krishna, who shoots and scores at an astonishing rate. But that doesn't mean that he is their only matchwinner.

In fact, Williams' goal came when Krishna had stood his ground, allowing his Australian partner to make the run and hold on to Carl McHugh's lobbed pass. Once sent through, Williams didn't have any doubts as to what he wanted to do. He collected the ball, created the space by cutting in past two-three defenders who were attempting to block a shot on target, and unleashed a sweet strike with his right foot into the top-right corner.


It wasn't the usual counter attacking football that Antonio Lopes Habas' team plays but then again, against Bengaluru, you cannot simply wait for the opposition to make mistakes.

Once the goal was scored, it was all about managing the game for the Mariners — and they managed it quite well indeed, thwarting the likes of Sunil Chhetri, Cleiton Silva and Udanta Singh. There were instances when ATK Mohun Bagan could have added more: half chances, Krishna out of nowhere or even when Manvir latched on to Jayesh Rane's through pass.

But in the end, it was just the one goal that was enough.

Habas' men have some time in hand now to enjoy Christmas as they play their next game on 29th December and if the chemistry between Krishna and Williams is not exciting, bear in mind, Brad Inman is yet to get into his groove.

It will be intriguing to see how and when Habas uses Inman, and whether it affects the existing synergy between Krishna and Williams.

Wherever Inman fits in, Krishna and Williams have both shown themselves to be adept at creating goals for each other from all over the pitch. Throw in Inman and the opponents will have even more to worry about.

It promises to be another hugely exciting step in the development of the Indian Super League's current No 1 duo.

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