Bambolim : ATK Mohun Bagan FC kick starts their ISL campaign on a winning note against Kerala Blasters FC. A goal by their Figian goal machine, Roy Krishna sealed the deal for the new boys in the Hero Indian Super League. ISL season 7 begins perfectly in Bambolim, Goa on closed doors with virtual fans celebrated time and time again. A perfect start for a club like Mohun Bagan with a rich legacy in Indian football.
The match started slowly. As ATKMB’s Michael Soosairaj got injured on the 15th minute of the game. It was a forced substitution to make for coach Antonio Lopez Habas. Krishna was looking bit out of shape as he missed two easy chances in the first half. Whereas, Kerala Blasters under the leadership of Kibu Vicuna was looking sharp in the first half. But neither of the sides were taking the extra risk, as it was the first match the big names were looking bit out of shape. In the second half Blasters started the way they ended the first half with high line in defence and continuous wing play. ATKMB was looking out of shape as they were not getting the cutting edge. Edu Garcia was playing his part but the build up was not happening for them. In the meantime Habas made a very positive substitution, he introduced Indian International Manvir Singh in place of Pronoy Halder who was already on a yellow card. And ATKMB’s attack started to flourish. In the 67th the only goal of the match happened. Mavir cutted inside the box from the left side and went for a cross which deflected from a head of a Blasters defender and in came Roy Krishna with a poachers finish and earned three points for the new boys in ISL. After that goal Kerala was attacking but they were missing the cutting edge. No such positive chances created by their players and obviously tremendous performance by ATKMB’s defence closed the doors for Blasters. ATKMB’s Tiri was a standout performer on field. With perfect interceptions and clearance on the defence. Sandesh Jhingan played his first match after one full season and he played standout too against his former club. So it’s a happy moment for all Mohun Bagan fans out their and also for Habas who started their campaign on winning ways.
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Kerala Blasters FC looked threatening but was missing that cutting edge. Kibu Vicuna tried to play through the wings but his players were stopped by strong ATKMB defenders. Sahal Abdul Samadh was trying but he missed two easy opportunities, player of his potential should be playing better than that. It’s early days so things will change for the Blasters as they have a good coach and good set of players.
ATK Mohun Bagan looked bit out of shape but they have too many match winners in their side to seal the deal. With so many options in their hand the team can challenge any side in the ISL. Their defence looked strong as a rock. With Sandesh Jhingan, Tiri and Pritam Kotal in the back other teams will have some doing to break it. Carl McHugh had a good comeback in the midfield and Edu Garcia was playing his role just the way he did it for ATK last season. Roy Krishna started the way he finished the last season. He never fails to score if he gets a half chance. But he looked bit out of shape as players were out of training for the global pandemic. But this victory was important for ATKMB to kick start their season after so many backlashes with the club and the fans. But a happy start for them and they will be a strong opponent to watch out for this season.