ATK Mohun Bagan defeated SC East Bengal 2-0 in the first Kolkata derby of the Indian Super League (ISL) at the Tilak Maidan in Vasco, Goa on Friday. Roy Krishna’s thunderous strike just after the start of the second half and Manvir’s goal in the 85th minute helped ATKMB with all three points and the second win of the tournament.
A typical Antonio Lopez Habas game plan was executed perfectly by his ATK Mohun Bagan players. A first-half of sitting back and absorbing pressure and letting their opposition do all the running and having the possession. In the second half, ATKMB, went on the attack after reading the patterns of SC East Bengal, who did look like they were playing their first game of the season.
Habas rang in the changes from first game that featured in the opening win against Kerala Blasters as David Williams, Jayesh Rane and Subhasish Bose came in the starting XI in place of Pronay Halder, Michael Soosairaj and Edu Garcia. SCEB coach Robbie Fowler, on the other hand, decided to go with out Jeje Lalpekhlua and Eugeneson Lyngdoh.
It was SCEB’s Anthony Pilkington who had the first chance of the game as was through on goal but had his foot stuck after skipping past Pritam Kotal. At the opposite end, on the 8th minute mark, ATKMB got the first ‘shot’ of the night, as Prabir Das was tipped over by Debjit Majumder when the wingback intended to cross the ball in the middle.
The referee got involved in the game at the 22-minute mark as Balwant Singhwas was shown a yellow card for his mistimed tackle on Javi Hernandez.
Jacques Maghoma climbed high in the air to try and give East Bengal the lead as 30 minutes of play neared completion. His headed effort from a Narayan Das ball though harmlessly trickled wide.
After the drinks break, ATK Mohun Bagan were back on the attack as Javi Hernandez drilled a low shot across the SC East Bengal goal but Debjit Majumderis up to the task. From the resulting corner, SCEB got on the break but Pritam Kotal raced back to stop his galloping march of his opponents.
Minutes later, East Bengal had another golden opportunity as Surchandra Singh sent in a delicious cross in the penalty box but Balwant Singh failed to make proper contact, with him barely poking his leg out, as the ball went wide past the far post. With the first half drawing to a close, Jayesh Rane of ATKMB went into the referee’s book for clipping Ville Matti Steinmann.
Derby Day done right! ✅
— ATK Mohun Bagan FC (@atkmohunbaganfc) November 27, 2020
As the second half started, ATKMB looked much more intent to make their move in the game and pressed their opponents of the Red and Gold brigade.
In the 49th minute, Roy Krishna gave ATK Mohun Bagan the lead after shooting the ball in the back of the net. Jayesh dispossessed a SCEB player on the left flank and passed it onto Javi Hernandez, who took a touch and got past a defender with ease and then passed it on to Krishna right at the edge of the box. The Fijian striker took a touch and hit a powerful shot with his left foot into the bottom right corner. Goalkeeper Debjit had no chance of stopping it.
SC East Bengal manager Robbie Fowler decided to change things up in defense as he brought on Abhishek Ambekar in place of Rana Gharami. Minutes earlier, Maghoma went into the referee’s book.
Balwant Singh got yet another chance to score just before the hour mark in the match after being found in space by Pilkington but he failed to test the ATKMB goalkeeper. Minutes later, Pilkington tried his luck with Maghoma but he too blasted over the post.
Habas made two changes as Jayesh Rane and David Williams made way for Pronay Halder and Manvir Singh. East Bengal soon responded by bringing on Mohammed Rafique in place of Balwant.
In the 70th minute, Pritam was put in a spot of bother as ATKMB goalie Arindam Bhattacharja raced out of his goal to clear out a deep ball from SCEB. He miscalculated the weight on the pass but managed to get a touch as his defender, Pritam went in to help him out. He was booked after being double-teamed off the ball.
At the 82nd minute, Pilkington again troubled Debjit as the goalkeeper was drawn out of his box and then forced a save with shot destined for the top corner.
Three minutes later, Manvir Singh, who came on for Williams, doubled ATK Mohun Bagan’s lead. The young Indian forward received the ball on the right flank and raced up the by-line and then got cuts inside to let a powerful shotinto the top left-hand corner as defenders watched on.
In the closing minutes of the game, Manvir could have made that three goals past Debjit but his shot flew over the post.
The more experienced coach emerged victorious in the end as ATK Mohun Bagan climbed to the top of the ISL points table with back-to-back wins.
ATK Mohun Bagan will next face Odisha FC on Thursday and SC East Bengal will take on Mumbai City FC on Tuesday.