Durand Cup – Rajasthan United shock ATK Mohun Bagan


ATK Mohun Bagan returned to the Salt Lake Stadium Stadium today as they took on Rajasthan United FC in their first match of the historic Durand Cup. Bagan started with a midfield of Hugo Boumous and Joni Kauko alongside Carl McHugh. Florentin Pogba, also made his debut for the Mariners.

The game’s first significant opportunity came via a defense-splitting pass by Joni Kauko, but Liston Colaco failed to capitalize, hitting it wide of the mark. Joni Kauko was ATK Mohun Bagan’s biggest threat in the first thirty minutes, directing the Kolkata team’s attack. Liston Colaco, in particular, had several chances to score, but goalie Niraj Kumar’s brilliance, combined with several misses, summed up the youngster’s first half.

Rajasthan’s first genuine chance came in the 22nd minute, but Allister Anthony shot into the side netting. Apart from the two goals, Liston Colaco’s wonderful freekick that dipped in but was saved by Niraj Kumar was the highlight of the first half. Rajasthan’s defence had been outstanding until the first goal when Ashique sprinted behind their defence and sent a superb cross for Kiyan to tap into an open net.

ATK Mohun Bagan

The delight of Mohun Bagan fans, however, did not last long as Rajasthan quickly equalised. Before Bektur knocked it past Arsh Anwar, Neihsial played with Bagan’s right side of defense while Pogba, who was marking Bektur, remained there watching as Bektur netted past him. Before the halftime whistle, Kauko had a chance from a Hugo corner, but Niraj Kumar came to the rescue for Rajasthan once more.

Hugo Boumous’ wizardry in the second half began with a free-kick outside the area, quickly finding Ashique who was unmarked, who calmly finished the chance as ATK Mohun Bagan moved up 2-1. Kiyan had a chance to score the third goal after a blunder by Rajasthan’s defense, but he shot wide. Juan Ferrando made some changes in his defense as Asish Rai came in for Hugo while Hamill replaced Florentin Pogba.

Neihsial’s corner again resulted in Rajasthan’s equalizer as Remsanga netted it in after the ball rebounded from Arsh Anwar. Rajasthan was back in the game as the score read 2-2. Kiyan Nassiri and Ashique combined on the right flank but the new arrival from Hyderabad hit the side netting. Manvir Singh, later had a brilliant opportunity to win the game for Bagan, as he was 1 v 1 with the goalkeeper but the forward chipped it into the stands. Joni Kauko continued with his displays dribbling past the RUFC defence but Kiyan hit the bar as the score remained 2-2.

Arsh’s terrible fumble inside the box in the dying minutes of the game was saved by the referee as the RUFC forward was judged offside. Ferrando’s team should’ve won the game by a big margin but Rajasthan United FC shocked them in the final few minutes of the game when they capitalised on a mistake by Bagan’s defence and scored the winner. Gyamar scored a simple goal to win the game from the jaws of a draw.

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Anurag Guha
Anurag Guha
Loves Indian Football and cars that go vroom vroom

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