MUMBAI, MAY 16: Ambernath United continued to produce scintillating performances in the Hero I-League 2 as they toppled leaders Shillong Lajong by 5-1 to take control of the summit.
Winnings their opening match of the final round by 1-0, Steven Dias’ side were on five match winning streak, four in the group stages and one in the final round.
Today they made it six in a row overall and back to back wins in the final round. It wasn’t just any other performance, a complete performance of dominance, control and elegance as they lit up the Cooperage stadium with five different goalscorers.
Goals from Arif Shaikh and Adil Khan gave the home side a 2-0 lead going into the break. Arif scored midway through the first half and Aadil’s goal on the stroke of halftime doubled their advantage.
Shravan Shetty has scored some of the most important goals in the club’s history. He was on target again today in the 56th minute making it 3-0.
Hardy Nongbri pulled one back for Shillong Lajong cutting the lead to two. That goal came midway through the second half in the 67th minute.
Icing on the cake came towards the end of the match when a Johnson Matthews made it 4-1 in the 87th minute and captain fantastic Himanshu Patil added a fifth in the very next minute to make it 5-1.
With back to back home wins in the final round, Ambernath United Atlanta FC storm to the top of the table with six points. Delhi FC’s 3-2 win away to United SC takes them to 2nd with 4th points. Shillong Lajong are third in the table with 4 points as well.
FC Bengaluru United are fourth with one win and one loss, on three points. United SC are still winless and yet to open their account. As a result they are bottom of the table.
Here is what head coach Steven Dias had to say about today’s performance, one leg in the hero I-league next season, facing the next two opponents, message for the fans.
On the team’s performance today
“I think it’s a great performance be it in any condition. From day one this team has been putting 100% and hence you can see this result. Shillong Lajong is a strong team but we were ready for this match and we knew how important it was to win this match. We gave our best.
Top of the league and one leg into the Hero I-League 2023-24 season
” No I don’t think so. We don’t want to get ahead of ourselves and relax now. We have to reach there and then celebrate. Till we don’t reach there we don’t celebrate. From tomorrow we start preparation for our match against United SC coming up this Sunday. Win there and then we celebrate.
Next two games are against United SC and Delhi SC. What can we expect from the team?
“There are no special plans as such. These boys if they give their best we can win. We go there, play our game and give our best”
Message for the fans who turn up at Cooperage every matchday
“I am so happy to see so many fans supporting our team. I always as a player who say the same thing that without fans there is no football. So when the players see the fans in huge numbers they give their best. I want to request the fans to keep supporting us, this victory is for you. I want to thank you all, thank you so much.”
Steven Dias’ side are scripting something special on the field as Ambernath United Atlanta FC are in prime spot to seal Hero I-League qualification for the 2023-24 season. With two matches away, they will look to get there step by step.
Up next for Ambernath United Atlanta FC is their first away trip of the final round to West Bengal where they take on United SC at the Kalyani Municipal Sports Complex. That match is scheduled for Sunday, 21st May 2023, kickoff at 4pm