The Mariners began their maiden ISL campaign with a win over Kerala Blasters…
ATK Mohun Bagan got off to a flying start in the 2020-21 Indian Super League (ISL) season with a narrow 1-0 win over Kerala Blasters on Friday at the GMC Stadium, Bambolim.
Roy Krishna’s 67th-minute strike ensured three points for Antonio Lopez Habas’ side in the club’s first-ever ISL match.
It was a cagey start to the match as both teams took the safety-first approach. Yet, Bagan could have had their noses in front if Krishna had not scuffed his shot at the far post after latching on to a corner whipped in by Hernandez.
But they were jolted by an injury to Michael Soosairaj within the first 15 minutes of the match, as the wing-back could not continue after ending up on the receiving end of a clumsy challenge from Prasanth.
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Blasters’ Kone gave away possession cheaply at the back but Krishna could not make them pay as Costa Nhamoinesu did well to block the ATK Mohun Bagan’s striker shot which was on target.
The Fijian continued to be in the thick of things and once again got an opportunity to put his team in front in the 34th minute his effort sailed above the crossbar, even though he had the time and space to pick his spot.
Although the chances were falling for the Mariners, the men in yellow were dominating possession. Vicuna’s men were winning the midfield battle but lacked imagination in the attacking third. They could create just one genuine goalscoring opportunity in the entire opening 45 minutes when Nongdamba Naorem swung in a cross from the left flank for Ritwik Das but the winger could not convert.
Sahal Abdul could have easily been the hero for his side as he found himself in a convenient position to break the deadlock within five minutes of the second half. Jessel Carneiro floated a cross from the left flank which was unconvincingly cleared by McHugh and the ball went to Sahal. The Blasters midfielder though could not keep his shot on target from a close range.
More to follow…