Panaji, Feb 20: Goals from Roy Krishna (15'), David Williams (72') and Javi Hernandez (89') guided league-toppers ATK Mohun Bagan to a 3-1 win against SC East Bengal at the Fatorda Stadium on Friday night.
SCEB managed to pull one back in the 41st minute through an own goal from Tiri.
SCEB Assistant Coach Tony Grant fielded an unchanged XI for the second consecutive time, showing faith in the combination that bagged a win (vs Jamshedpur FC) and a draw (vs Hyderabad FC) in the last two games.
ATKMB applied pressure on SCEB from the outset. Their efforts bore fruit in the fifteenth minute when this season's leading scorer Roy Krishna broke the deadlock.
Playing their ninth away game this season, SCEB opted for a high backline and pushed hard for the equaliser, with Bright Enobakhare spearheading the attack.
Right on the cusp of half-time, the visitors found their equaliser through Tiri. The ATKMB defender tried to clear away a long throw-in from SCEB's Raju Gaikwad, but mistakenly ended up glancing it into his own net.
SCEB started the second-half with renewed vigor, but their offensive endeavors were absorbed by the in-form ATKMB defense.
Antonio Lopez Habas' side then regained the lead in the 72nd minute as Krishna set Williams up with an assist near the edge of the box, which the Australian didn't fail to bury in the back of the net.
SCEB had their second real chance in the 83rd minute when Sarthak Golui's header from close range went over the crossbar.
ATKMB sealed the contest in the 89th minute through substitute Javi's goal, which, once again, came off a Krishna assist.
The win enabled ATKMB to extend their winning streak to five matches, while SCEB remain rooted to the ninth spot with seventeen points from eighteen matches.
Reacting to the defeat at the virtual-post match Press conference, Grant said, 'I don't think the opposition did much to win the game. I think we helped them. Both teams cancelled each other out. There wasn’t much great football played by both teams... There was a lot at stake. It was a big game but I would not say that it was the worst game.'
SCEB play their penultimate game of the season against NorthEast United FC next, at the same venue on February 23.