ATK Mohun Bagan (ATKMB) won the famous Kolkata derby, courtesy of a Sumit Passi own-goal, over their arch-rivals Emami East Bengal (EEB) in a Group B game of the 131st IndianOil Durand Cup, in front of a capacity of 60,000 plus crowd at the Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan (VYBK), here on Sunday evening. ATK Mohun Bagan was the more dominating team in the match while Emami East Bengal also had their chances, but remained goalless after three games in the tournament.
Read to know about all the events that happened in the game
ATK Mohun Bagan gaffer Juan Ferrando fielded an unchanged eleven from the derby while Emami East Bengal coach Stephen Constantine made as many as five, some forced, due to injuries to players like Ankit Mukherjee and V.P. Suhair. Emami East Bengal was the home-side on the day wearing their traditional Red & Gold while ATK Mohun Bagan were in their away white flannels.
After a somewhat cautious and understandably nervous start by both sides, it was ATK Mohun Bagan that got the first real chance of the game, when Ashique Kuruniyan broke through from the left in the 16th minute, displaying some sublime skills to weave in past a couple of Emami East Bengal defenders, but his effort from the close on the left lacked direction. It was then the turn of Liston Colaco who had a wayward effort from distance on the 26th minute of the game.
In the 34th minute, Emami East Bengal’s Spanish defender Ivan Gonzalez got hold of a loose ball just about 10-yards inside the ATK Mohun Bagan half and unleashed a pile-driver which made ATK Mohun Bagan keeper Vishal Kaith dive full-stretch, but it flew comfortably away from goal. As the half looked to be headed towards a stalemate, ATK Mohun Bagan found their goal in the 2nd minute of injury-time, when a seemingly harmless corner by Liston, bounced awkwardly in front of Emami East Bengal keeper Kamaljit and hit Sumit Passi, to deflect inside.
Emami East Bengal began the second half with the intent from the get-go with coach Constantine making three changes, bringing in Aniket Jadhav, Cleiton Silva, and Himanghsu Jangra in place of Angousana, Eliandro, and Jerry. Aniket immediately found an opening, but his volley from inside the box was off target. Then Sumit Passi got at the end of a free header but he too missed the target.
ATK Mohun Bagan hit back immediately in the 54th minute, with Liston and Ashique combining beautifully in the middle and post a defensive lapse, the latter found himself in front of Kamaljeet. To the keeper’s credit, he made himself big and brought off a fine save. In the 57th minute, ATK Mohun Bagan won a free-kick which Hugo Boumous floated in and Florentine Pogba got behind the loose ball, but his shot was saved from the goal-line by Cypriot defender Charambalos Kyriacou, who had given away the free-kick in the first place.
At the hour mark, both coaches made changes. ATK Mohun Bagan rested Boumous and brought on Manvir Singh in attack while Emami East Bengal brought on Amarjit Kiyam in place of Souvik Chakrabarti. ATK Mohun Bagan then slowly but surely began taking control of the midfield with some fine play by Man of the Match Carl McHugh in particular. A goal however eluded both teams and ATK Mohun Bagan picked up the points to the joy of their supporters. The Group however still stands open with all of the five teams, yet to confirm their knockout berths.
ATK Mohun Bagan will be the first of the two rivals to come back on the field, when they take on the Indian Navy in their final game on 31st August, at the Kishore Bharati Krirangan. Emami East Bengal went up against Mumbai City FC at the same venue on 3rd September.
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