ATK Mohun Bagan two good in Kolkata derby
Manvir Singh went one better than contributing to ATK Mohun Bagan’s first goal of ISL7 when on Friday night he scored with a stunning left-footer. Singh’s 85th minute goal against SC East Bengal capped off a 2-0 win for ATK Mohun Bagan after Roy Krishna had opened scoring with another left-footer in the 49th.
“Two wins, two clean sheets, it’s been a good start, “said ATK Mohun Bagan central midfielder Carl McHugh, who along with central defender Tiri was again key to them putting up another compact defensive show.
Singh, 25, has a thing for Goa. He played three seasons for FC Goa before moving to ATK Mohun Bagan and in 2017 had scored the winner for Bengal in the Santosh Trophy final against Goa. On Friday, he made the most of an early challenge from Narayan Das, chewed up the Tilak Maidan ground, cut in and bulged the roof. “Good player, good professional,” said ATK Mohun Bagan coach Antonio Lopez Habas, not known to praise individuals.
After an even first half, Krishna’s goal had set ATK Mohun Bagan on their way. Jayesh Rane set the move going. Two slick passes from Rane and Hernandez, the Spaniard shielding and turning from SC East Bengal skipper Danny Fox, had Krishna lining up a shot with full view of the goal. His snap drive went through defender Scott Neville’s legs and under Debjit Majumder’s arm, SC East Bengal paying for moving early.
If SC East Bengal weren’t as clinical it is because they haven’t had time to settle in. Yet they played 22 passes across the pitch, the move ending with a Jacques Maghoma header, got personnel behind the ball and German Matti Steinman has started well in central midfield. Balwant Singh got between the central defenders once and in the eighth minute, SC East Bengal could have had a penalty had referee CR Srikrishna felt Tiri had clipped Anthony Pilkington’s ankle strongly enough.
After the early wobble, ATK Mohun Bagan settled into their usual ploy of sitting deep and looking to hit on the break. It fetched the best chance of the first half when Hernandez’s 38th minute volley had Majumder getting a hand after flying to his left. That was after a delivery intended by Prabir Das thudded into the horizontal.
Pilkington growing into the game, wrapping his boot on a shot in the 83rd minute that Arindam Bhattacharja had to fly and keep out, Maghoma too portends a good season for Fowler’s men. “We were a bit naïve in the end but we showed a few glimpses of what type of team we will be. We will get better,” said Fowler.