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ISL 2020-21: Roy Krishna Scores Only Goal as ATK Mohun Bagan Beat Kerala Blasters 1-0

ATK Mohun Bagan's Roy Krishna helped beat Kerala Blasters (Photo Credit: ISL)

ATK Mohun Bagan's Roy Krishna helped beat Kerala Blasters (Photo Credit: ISL)

ISL 2020-21: Roy Krishna sored the only goal of the match in the 67th minute as ATK Mohun Bagan defeated Kerala Blasters 1-0 in the Indian Super League.

ATK Mohun Bagan kicked off the seventh season of the Indian Super League  with a 1-0 win over Kerala Blasters  with the help of a solitary goal from Roy Krishna on Friday. Fijian hitman Roy Krishna, who was ATK's top goal scorer with 15 goals last season, struck the all important goal after a 67 minute deadlock to give the all important three points for the 'Green and Maroon' brigade.

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The KBFC playing with a heavy defensive lineup of 4-2-3-1 managed to thwart ATKMB throughout the first half but after the hour mark they left a loose ball as the Fijian international pounced on it with a calm and composed finish. All eyes were on the 131-year-old legacy club Mohun Bagan as they were making their ISL debut following their 'marriage' with three-time defending champions ATK.

The first half was a cagey affair and remained goalless, with ATKMB failing to convert their chances. Kerala dominated possession but lacked the end product in the final third.

It was Kerala who started brightly, intent on keeping the ball while Kolkata side were keen on absorbing the pressure.

The Mariners had the chance to take the lead off what was the first corner of the game, with the ball falling to an unmarked Krishna. The Fijian though failed to get the desired connection and scuffed it out for a goal-kick.

ATKMB were forced to make their first substitution in the 15th-minute when Michael Soosairaj was stretchered off the field after being fouled by Prasanth Karuthadathkuni. He was replaced by Subhasish Bose.

Bagan had the opportunity to put themselves ahead, through a corner again soon. Edu Garcia found Carl McHugh but the Irishman fired his header wide. Krishna had another great chance soon after the half-hour mark, with the ball falling to him after a mistake by Vicente Gomez. However, the Fijian blazed his shot over the bar.

Shortly after that, Kerala had their best chance of the game. Nongdamba Naorem whipped in a cross from the left but a block from McHugh lobbed off towards the centre of the box. An onrushing Ritwik Das, however, missed the target from close distance.

Vicuna's men continued to dominate possession in the second half and their efforts led to a clear-cut opportunity. Carneiro burst forward and crossed the ball to Sahal Abdul Samad, who miscued his shot.

The match had an interesting sub-plot as Vicuna, who had guided Mohun Bagan to their fifth I-League title last season, sat in the opposite dugout in KBFC jersey, while the most successful ISL coach Habas was at the helm of ATKMB. Habas named a predictable 3-5-2 lineup with their star signing Sandesh Jhingan helming the defence in his first outing after a lengthy injury layoff of more than 12 months.

ATKMB had a dominant first half and made some early inroads with Roy Krishna missing an early chance, even as KBFC enjoyed more ball possession in the first 45 minutes. KBFC, who were the designated home team, looked more threatening and came out with an attacking intent in the second-half.

But KBFC were made to pay for it as Roy Krishna made amends for his three misses in the first half with his poacher goal to become the difference between the two sides. That goal was enough for ATKMB to sink Kerala Blasters' hearts.

(With inputs from PTI)


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