ATK Mohun Bagan come from behind to beat Maziya and lead AFC Cup Group D South Zone
ATK Mohun Bagan trumped Maziya Sports & Recreation 3-1 in their AFC Cup Group D South Zone encounter at the National Football Stadium in Male (Maldives) on Saturday evening. Liston Colaco, Roy Krishna and Manvir Singh were on target for the Mariners, while Aisam Ibrahim scored for the Maldivian club which also happened to be the first goal of the game. With the win, the Mariners now lead the group and just need a draw against Bangladesh’s Bashundhara Kings on August 24 to qualify for the inter-zone semi-final.
- Maziya took the lead in the 25th minute.
- Early in the second half, Colaco brought the Mariners back into the contest.
- Krishna and Manvir then made it worse for the Maldivian club.
ATK Mohun Bagan made a nice move in the fifth minute of the game. David Williams found Krishna from the right and the Fijian guided the ball into the net but was flagged for offside by the linesman. At the other end, Amrinder Singh came to the ATK Mohun Bagan’s rescue by means of a left-handed save following a deflection from a Maziya corner.
In the 25th minute, Maziya stunned ATK Mohun Bagan on the counter after Williams’ freekick failed to produce the desired result, and Cornelius Stewart ran with ball and dodged two Mariner defenders from the right to find Ibrahim who tapped it in comfortably to put the local team ahead.
In the 29th minute, Maziya could have doubled their lead as Stewart orchestrated another goal-scoring opportunity from the right, though this did not end in goal like before as Hamza Mohamed couldn’t reach in time to slide the ball in at the far post.
Colaco’s fiercely-hit free kick in the 32nd minute then almost brought ATK Mohun Bagan back into the contest but Maziya goalkeeper Mirzokhid Mamatkhanov was alert and parried away the screamer. It has to be said that Maziya dominated after breaking the deadlock right till the half-time break, however, much to the relief of the Mariners, they couldn’t double their lead.
Seconds into the second half, Hamza was set up nicely into the box but he could not provide the finishing touch and the Mariners breathed a big sigh of relief. In the 47th minute, the Mariners were back into the contest as Colaco restored parity by heading in an Ashutosh Mehta cross from the right. This was Colaco’s first start for the Mariners and boy did he catch the eye!
Hamza brought Amrinder into action in the 59th minute as he hit straight into the custodian’s hands. Two minutes later Williams went for glory from distance and saw his effort sail way over the crossbar.
The Mariners then well and truly pushed ahead in the game in the 63th minute. Hitherto quiet, Hugo Boumous provided a magic pass into the box; Colaco ran ahead and guided it towards goal but Maziya goalkeeper Mamatkhanov got his leg in the way of his shot and the ball fell to Krishna outside the box and he didn’t miss out on an open goal to the delight of his team-mates.
Manvir made it 3-1 for Mariners in the 77th minute and again Boumous was at the centre of it all with his through-ball. Maziya could have reduced the lead in the 79th minute but Amrinder came up with a great save to maintain the status quo. Maziya tried their best to make a match out of it but the Mariners’ defence was equal to the task and resisted them successfully for a convincing come-from-behind win.