ATK Mohun Bagan – 2 (Lenny 18’ Kiyan 28’) Indian Navy – 0
ATK Mohun Bagan (ATKMB) stayed in contention for a knockout berth in the 131st Durand Cup, with a regulation 2-0 win, their second of the campaign, over the Indian Navy Football Team in a Group B fixture at the Kishore Bharati Krirangan (KBK). Lenny Rodriguez opened the scoring for the Green & Maroons while Kiyan Nassiri got the second of the game, which was otherwise played at a pedestrian pace. As a result, ATKMB now have seven points from their four Group B games while the Navy have just one, with one more game left to play and are practically out of the tournament.
ATKMB’s Spanish coach Juan Ferrando made eight changes in his side from the one that started against Emami East Bengal (EEB) in the previous game. It was almost a new-look side, from that one.
Even then, it was ATKMB which started on the front foot making regular forays on the Navy goal.
The first goal came in the 18th minute. Deepak Tangri, one of those who had started in the EEB game, found Manvir on the right with a long ball. The ATKMB number 11 squared to Fardeen Ali Mollah, lurking on the edge of the box.
The young Santosh Trophy star took out two defenders while feigning his receive with a wonderful turn and played on Lenny Rodriguez, who created space on his left and beat keeper Vishnu with a grounded left-footer to the near corner.
Lenny almost got his second four minutes later with a wonderful curler from distance but this time Vishnu did well to fend it off.
Fardeen then got his second assist of the game after Kiyan played a quick 1-2 with him to burst through the Navy defence and finish clinically, wrong footing the keeper.
Navy had a chance to pull one back after Pritam Kotal fluffed his lines and Shreyas VG, pounced on it but his effort went over. He found himself at the end of a through a minute later yet again, but keeper Kaith came out to nip his effort in the bud.
The game slowed down further in the second-half with ATKMB trying to keep possession in the middle of the park. Even though the Sailor men tried, in particular Sreyas, their best to break down the ATKMB defence, their efforts were limited to shots from distance majorly.
In the end, it turned out to be a routine win for ATKMB. They wrap up their group engagements and now await the result of the Rajasthan United FC and Indian Navy game at the same venue on September 05, 2022, to find out whether they can join Mumbai City into the knockouts, from the group.
Report- Pratyusha Mukherjee
Source- Indian Army