Marcelo sparks comeback before Krishna steals the show for ATK Mohun Bagan in five-goal thriller
After going two goals down, ATK Mohun Bagan scripted a stunning comeback in Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL) 2020-21 to beat Kerala Blasters FC 3-2 at the Fatorda Stadium on Sunday. A Gary Hooper goal in the first half and a Costa Nhamoinesu in the second put Kerala in a position of strength. However, ATK Mohun Bagan fought back valiantly through a goal from debutant Marcelo Pereira and a Roy Krishna brace.
- Gary Hooper netted a stunning volley from distance to give Kerala Blasters a first-half lead.
- Costa Nhamoinesu doubled Kerala’s lead but Marcelo Pereira halved the deficit.
- Roy Krishna equalised from the penalty spot before scoring the winner for ATK Mohun Bagan in the 87th minute.
Kerala had the first opportunity of the game in the 5th minute after a weak header by Tiri back to his goalkeeper put ATK Mohun Bagan under pressure in their own box. Sahal Abdul Samad had the eventual shot at the goal but Sandesh Jhingan put in a heroic block to deny his former team.
The Blasters though did have their lead nine minutes later after a spectacular volley from distance by Hooper. The Englishman showed his quality by controlling a cross from deep with his chest before volleying it first-time into the net from more than 30 yards to leave the Mariners stunned.
The southerners grew in confidence after taking the lead and looked the more threatening outfit in attack as Jordan Murray had the next two attempts on goal. Krishna tried to work his way into the game and registered a shot on target for ATK Mohun Bagan on the half hour mark, while Murray went up the other end and forced goalkeeper Arindam Bhattacharja into conceding a corner.
Kerala went on to end the half as the stronger of the two sides and dominated the ball besides also posing the bigger goal-threats. Their final attempt of the half was a Rahul KP effort from range which the goalkeeper saved comfortably as the Blasters went into the break with a one-goal advantage.
The Blasters began the second period on the attack and doubled their lead after six minutes. A Kerala corner was flicked on at the near post by Rahul and made it to Costa, who bundled the ball over the line following a goal-mouth scramble with some ATK Mohun Bagan players.
However, the Mariners responded in the 59th minute through debutant Marcelo. The Brazilian ran on to a smart pass in behind Kerala’s backline by substitute Manvir Singh and clipped it past an outrushing Albino Gomes to halve the deficit for his team.
ATK Mohun Bagan got a penalty four minutes later after Jessel Carneiro was adjudged to have handled the ball in the box. Krishna stepped up to the spot and placed the ball with power to the goalkeeper’s right to make it all square.
Manvir then found himself in on goal a few moments later but Albino came off his line to thwart the danger. He also failed to test the goalkeeper in the 73rd minute when the Indian international missed a free header at the near post from a corner.
The closing stages of the contest saw ATK Mohun Bagan up the ante as a Javier Hernandez effort from outside the box in the 86th minute flew over the crossbar. The pressure by the Mariners though was relentless and it was the Kolkata giants that took the lead a minute later through Krishna.
The Fiji international did well to win possession high up the pitch and weaved his way into the box before curling the ball beyond the goalkeeper with his left foot to put ATK Mohun Bagan in the lead. The Mariners then maintained the pressure on Kerala after going in front and then during stoppage time, while Sandeep Singh tried his luck from range late on as ATK Mohun Bagan held on to claim the three points.
Hero of the Match – Roy Krishna
Roy Krishna was back to his best during ATK Mohun Bagan’s triumph over Kerala Blasters. After Marcelo Pereira had halved Kerala’s lead, the Fiji international showed his class by keeping his calm from the spot to score a penalty and then net a late winner for his side to win maximum points.
Other Match Awards:
Club Award – ATK Mohun Bagan
DHL Winning Pass of the Match – Manvir Singh (ATK Mohun Bagan)
Watch the Match Highlights here: