Krishna, Bose on target as ATK Mohun Bagan beat Bengaluru FC in their AFC Cup opener
In a battle of familiar rivals, ATK Mohun Bagan beat fellow Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL) side Bengaluru FC 2-0 in their opening AFC Cup Group D South Zone encounter at the National Football Stadium in Male (Maldives) on Wednesday. The Mariners dominated for the large part of the match and scored through Roy Krishna and Subhasish Bose to register a comfortable win.
- Roy Krishna broke the deadlock in the 39th minute.
- Subhasish Bose doubled the lead for the Mariners in the 46th minute.
Both teams started with a lot of intent, putting on view pacey, fluent football. Jayesh Rane, Bengaluru FC’s goalscorer in their win against Club Eagles in their play-off game on Sunday, in the fourth minute took a shot from distance and it wasn’t too far from the target. However, with time the contest became more of a cagey affair.
That was not to last long though as new signing from reigning Hero ISL champions Mumbai City FC, Hugo Boumous almost put the Mariners ahead in the 21st minute of the game. He took on a couple of Bengaluru FC defenders deftly and unleashed a nice shot on goal, however, Gurpreet Singh Sandhu, warded off the danger for the Blues with a fine save in goal.
Boumous was again in action in the 23rd minute and almost found Krishna in the box. That was a good pass from the Frenchman and threw a big scare into the opposition.
In the 26th minute, Bengaluru FC appeared to get some footing back as Cleiton Silva launched a freekick right into the box. With a little bit of luck, Alan Costa could have headed the ball in before it went into Amrinder Singh’s hands.
In the 32nd minute, Gurpreet denied Boumous one more time. The Mariner’s shot from inside the box -- after Krishna did the bulk of the work from the left -- was nicely stopped by Gurpreet who used his right foot to good effect.
ATK Mohun Bagan at last broke the deadlock in the 39th minute. Boumous’ corner from the right was headed towards goal by an unmarked Bose and Krishna nodded home the defender’s header past Gurpreet to put the Mariners in the lead. That also proved to be the last significant piece of action from the first half as both teams headed into the break with the scoreline reading 1-0 in favour of the Kolkata-based club.
ATK Mohun Bagan took seconds into the second half to double their lead. David Williams found Bose in the box and the defender’s first touch allowed him to use his left foot to good effect past Gurpreet.
Silva came close to pulling one back in the 53rd minute after the Naorem Singh-Suresh Wangjam combo set up the Brazilian, however, his strike from the edge of the box was parried by Amrinder in goal.
The Blues tried hard to get back into the game and did well in the middle of the park to some extent, however, all their efforts came a cropper in the final third. The Mariners also defended with a lot of spirit to hamper Marco Pezzaiuoli’s men’s ambitions. Amrinder particularly got in the way of a couple of serious attempts in the last few minutes of the game.
Bengaluru FC next line up against Bangladesh’s Bashundhara Kings in the first game on August 21. ATK Mohun Bagan, meanwhile, take on Maldives’ Maziya Sports & Recreation in the second game of the day.