Durand Cup 2022: ATK Mohun Bagan sink rivals East Bengal in a thrilling 1-0 victory

ATK Mohun Bagan kept their winning record intact against East Bengal as they secured their first full points as they outplayed their arch-rivals in a 1-0 victory at a full-packed Salt Lake Stadium in Kolkata on Sunday.

Juan Ferrando’s side were gifted the lead as a stoppage time own goal in the first half by Passi (45+2’) gave the Mariners their first win of their Durand Cup campaign.

The game commenced with a tumultuous atmosphere in the stands as the Mariners started to gain ground on East Bengal. Ashique Kuruniyan made a beautiful run as he dribbled past three defenders and was through on goal but his shot was wide of the mark.

In the 21st minute, Asish Rai linked up with Liston Colaco on the right flank as the two were looking deadly with the ball but the East Bengal defenders stood their ground and managed to clear the lines.

With continuous end-to-end action throughout the game, East Bengal too remained in charge of the game through Ivan Gonzalez as he pulled a long-ranger but his off-target shot failed to trouble Kaith.

With two minutes added on the clock, the Mariners broke the deadlock after a Liston Colaco corner ended in the back of the Red and Gold Brigade as a sloppy clearance from their defence led to the ball deflected past Passi and got past the line.

East Bengal pumped up in the second half and started finding outlets of attack but couldn’t capitalise on their chances. Aniket Jadhav had a startling chance to equalise but the midfielder’s ferocious shot went far wide the post after Vishal Kaith punched the ball from a Souvik Chakraborty free-kick.

In the 53rd minute, Ashique Kuruniyan had the chance to double the lead after an Ivan Gonzalez error led Kuruniyan through on goal but shot-stopper Kamaljit Singh made himself big to make a magnificent save and kept the score intact.

The Mariners kept pouncing on the Red and Gold brigade and had almost converted through Pogba after a chaotic play in the box led to Pogba hitting a venomous strike but Kyriacou remained in the goalline and shunned away the strike by a header.

A pinpoint cross from Pritam Kotal to Ashique Kuruniyan trembled the East Bengal defence as Kuruniyan was left unmarked but the latter squandered the chance as his shot flew past the goal.

Stephen Constantine’s men kept creating chances but they couldn’t get through ATK Mohun Bagan’s defence as Kyriacou’s ball from the left found Cleiton inside the box but the striker’s header didn’t trouble Vishal Kaith and went straight into his hands.

With the Mariners dominating the field, the match started to get intense in the closing stages along with the emphatic atmosphere set by the spectators.

Juan Ferrando’s side play Indian Navy next on Wednesday while Stephen Constantine’s men take the field against Mumbai City FC on Saturday.

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