ATK Mohun Bagan emerged victorious in Hero Indian Super League’s (Hero ISL) first-ever Kolkata derby after a 2-0 win over SC East Bengal at the Tilak Maidan Stadium on Friday. Roy Krishna scored the game’s first goal early in the second half and substitute Manvir Singh doubled their advantage in the 85th minute.
Both sides began the match with intent and purpose. An attempted cross by Prabir Das inside the opening 10 minutes ended up hitting SC East Bengal’s crossbar much to the relief of goalkeeper Debjit Majumder and his team-mates.
SC East Bengal’s Anthony Pilkington then received a pass outside ATK Mohun Bagan’s penalty box in the 20th minute and got a shot away that went straight into goalkeeper Arindam Bhattacharja’s grateful hands. Jacques Maghoma had the opportunity to break the deadlock on the half hour mark, but he couldn’t direct his header from a Narayan Das cross on target.
The best chance of the half, though, went to the Mariners in the 36th minute when Javier Hernandez did well to get the ball under control inside a cramped penalty area before firing a venomous effort on goal that forced Debjit into a save.
Balwant Singh also had a good opportunity to put SC East Bengal ahead two minutes later when a delicious cross from the right found him near the six-yard box. However, Balwant couldn’t keep his attempt on target as the chance went a-begging and the score remained goalless at halftime.
It took just four minutes of the second half for ATK Mohun Bagan to take the lead and it was Krishna who was the goal-scorer. The ball came nicely for the Fijian striker just outside the penalty area and he unleashed an unerring finish that beat Debjit in goal to make it 1-0 for the Mariners.
SC East Bengal responded strongly in search of an equaliser and came close to levelling the score a minute before the hour mark following a quick break that culminated in Balwant shooting wide of goal. Maghoma also had a shot from distance that failed to test the ATK Mohun Bagan goalkeeper in the 63rd minute.
The Red and Gold Brigade continued to push hard for an equaliser but ATK Mohun Bagan were holding firm and kept looking to hit them with quick counter-attacks. SC East Bengal continued to toil for their goal and Pilkington came close to scoring when his shot from distance forced Arindam into a diving save.
Arindam’s save was rewarded with ATK Mohun Bagan’s second goal of the night in the 85th minute. After coming off the bench, Manvir made a superb run that saw him carry the ball from near the halfway line to the box and he fired a stinging left-footed shot past the goalkeeper to make it 2-0 for his team.
Manvir could have scored another goal in injury time as SC East Bengal continued to chase the game. However, his effort on this occasion wasn’t the best and didn’t test the goalkeeper. SC East Bengal’s Surchandra Singh had the last shot of the game but he failed to force a save as ATK Mohun Bagan won Hero ISL’s first Kolkata derby.
ISL Media Release