ATK Mohun Bagan battled it out with the Indian Navy FT in a must-win clash of the 131st Indian Oil Durand Cup, where Juan Ferrando fielded an all-Indian line-up with many youngsters who got their much-awaited chance in the Starting XI. In contrast, Abhilash Nair fielded the best possible XI in their penultimate tournament match with Britto, Shreyash, and Bibek Thapa leading the attack line.
The Mariners started the game with the intent of scoring early goals, kept most of the ball possession in the first quarter, and got two chances but the Navy defense cleverly trapped them in the offside position, but they couldn’t keep the scoreline level much, in the 18th minute of the game Lenny Rodrigues broke the deadlock from Fardin Ali Molla’s cross who played a pivotal role in last year Santosh Trophy for Bengal.
In the 22nd minute, Lenny took a screamer from outside the box but Indian Navy captain Velutha Vishnu saved it out for a corner. In the 28th minute, the Fardin Ali Molla-Kiyan Nassiri’s combo brought home the second goal for the Mariners where the latter scored his second tournament goal.
The best chance got by the Navy team in the 37th minute when Pritam’s mistake in clearing the ball helped Shreyash V G to get the goalkeeper in a one-to-one situation but he failed to keep the shot on target. The green and maroon brigade got a comfortable two-goal lead at half-time.
Ricky Shabong and Arsh Anwer Shaikh replace Pritam Kotal and the custodian Vishal Kaith at the start of the second half, Ricky got the second half going as he got the first chance of the half as his shot hits the crossbar into five minutes of the second half. The Mariners kept pressurizing and trying to add more goals to the tally.
Two minutes later, Fardin takes a screamer but it also hits the crossbar again. Fardin again got a chance in the 54th minute but he fails to touch it from Manvir Singh’s cross that was directed towards him from the right flank. In the 62nd minute, Bibek Thapa came close to getting a goal back but the Arsh came ahead to keep the ball out of danger.
ATK Mohun Bagan kept the pressure on the Indian Navy’s defense but couldn’t convert those chances, on the 88th minute Indian Navy’s midfielder Arsh brilliantly saved Adersh’s shot to keep a clean sheet for the team. The Mariners end the group stage with seven points, while the Indian Navy will battle it out against Rajasthan United FC in their last match on 5th September 2022.
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