ATK Mohun Bagan defeated SC East Bengal 3-0 in their clash in the Indian Super League (ISL) 2021-22, at Tilak Maidan Stadium in Vasco on Saturday. Roy Krishna (12′) kept his scoring record in every derby as Manvir Singh (14′) and Liston Colaco (23′) ensured the job was done in the first half. In the 372th edition of the 100-year-old rivalry, the Mariners have now won it 123 times, getting closer and closer to the 129th place of the Reds and Golds.
While SC East Bengal started with four recognized centre-backs, ATK Mohun Bagan had no one in their starting lineup. AFC Ajax academy graduate Darren Sidoel made his debut for SC East Bengal when Daniel Chima was eliminated. Antonio Habas chose to go through with the team that overcame the Kerala Blasters on opening day.
SC East Bengal was the one to shine right after the opening whistle. They even tested the Bagan defense with an early corner, barely aware of the approaching storm.
Bagan chose the right channel to score two goals within 100 odd seconds. Manvir first found Pritam Kotal through the man who broke through the box for the first time. The dangerous Roy Krishna was unmarked and the Fiji international had no trouble swinging his right foot into a volley over the far corner of Arindam to break the deadlock within just 12 minutes.
The architect of the first goal, Manvir, wasted no time putting his two teams in a good position. Fresh out of the European Championship, Joni Kauko took advantage of SC East Bengal’s Achilles heel – on the left side of their defence. Kauko gave it to Manvir inside the box, who closed the door to the house, this time towards Arindam.
Arguably, the deal was closed at 23 minutes. Liston Colaco took his spoon to join the party. Arindam, unfortunately, headed outside the 18-yard box but just knocked his collection over. Liston picked up the pieces and, with an empty net in the corner, packed up for a third of the night.
Arindam soon had to be taken off the field as he was injured in the process. Jose Manuel Diaz has also tossed Amarjit Singh Kiyam into the mix. SC East Bengal looked short of ideas as the Mariners continued to pile up attacks, with some major opportunities missing.
Red and Golds have exhausted their year of change with over half an hour to go. Adil Khan, Amir Dervisevic and Chima were all included but the caste pits were wide.
Kauko remained at the center of ATKMB’s plan to control the play from midfield as his teammates repeatedly squandered opportunities to close the gap. The goalkeeper entered the field as a substitute for Suvam Sen and played impressively.
SC East Bengal will feel lucky that ATKMB hasn’t conceded more goals as Red and Gold’s defense put on a lousy display tonight.
With 2 separate victories, ATK Mohun Bagan jumped to the top of the table, 2 points ahead of Jamshedpur FC. They repeated last season’s final against Mumbai City in midweek while SC East Bengal take on Odisha FC next.
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