Roy Krishna struck in the 67th minute for ATK Mohun Bagan, beating the Kerala Blasters in the ISL opener.© ISL / Twitter
In their new avatar, ATK Mohun Bagan kicked off the seventh season of the Indian Super League on a high level, beating the Kerala Blasters by a lone goal on Friday. Fijian hitman Roy Krishna, who was ATK’s top scorer with 15 goals last season, scored the most important goal after a 67-minute standoff to give the all-important three points for the Green and Brown Squad. The Yellow Brigade playing with a heavy defensive formation of 4-2-3-1 managed to thwart ATKMB throughout the first half but after the hour they left a loose ball as the Fijian International threw himself on it with a calm, composed finish.
All eyes were on historic 131-year-old club Mohun Bagan as they made their ISL debut following their ‘marriage’ to three-time defending ATK champion.
The match had an interesting subplot as Kibu Vicuna, who guided Mohun Bagan to his fifth I-League title last season, sat in the opposite shelter in a KBFC jersey, while the most successful coach of the l ‘ISL, Antonio Lopez Habas, was the head of ATKMB.
Habas named a predictable 3-5-2 roster with their signing Sandesh Jhingan leading the defense in his first outing after a long injury layoff of more than 12 months.
ATKMB had a dominant first half and made some early forays with Roy Krishna missing an early chance, even though KBFC had more ball possession in the opening 45 minutes.
KBFC, who were the designated home team, looked more menacing and came out with attacking intent in the second half.
But KBFC was forced to pay for it as Roy Krishna fixed his three first-half failures with his poacher goal to become the difference between the two teams.
This goal was enough for ATKMB to sink the hearts of the Kerala Blasters.
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