ATK down Kerala in ISL season opener
New signing Hugo Boumos starred on his debut for ATK Mohun Bagan who made a winning start to the Hero Indian Super League (ISL) season with a 4-2 win over Kerala Blasters FC in the opening match of the campaign at the Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Margao, Goa on Friday.
Boumous (3’, 39’), Roy Krishna (27’) and Liston Colaco (50’) netted for the Mariners as they cancelled out strikes from Sahal Abdul Samad (24’) and Pereyra Diaz (69’) to collect all three points.
Antonio Habas’ side got off to a flying start when Boumous’ attempted cross in the third minute that evaded all the bodies inside the box to beat Albino Gomes in the Kerala Blasters goal and finding the back of the net to put the Mariners ahead.
The Blasters though provided a good response to falling behind early in the game by edging possession in the exchanges that followed the goal.
However, they remained vulnerable at the back and Manvir Singh almost made it 2-0 for the Mariners from a corner in the 14th minute as he headed over from close range.
Ivan Vukomanovic’s men though equalised ten minutes later through Sahal who chested down a cutback from the right flank before firing a half-volley past Amrinder Singh in the ATK Mohun Bagan goal.
The Blasters’ joy was short lived as Boumous and Krishna combined beautifully at the other end to send the latter through on goal only for him to be fouled by Gomes inside the box. The Fijian opened his account for the season from the resultant penalty to give ATK Mohun Bagan the lead again in the 27th minute.
Krishna was almost gifted another opportunity to score six minutes later when Kerala Blasters made a mess of a routine clearance but the Fijian fired over.
The Mariners though didn’t have to wait long to add a third goal as Boumous left young Bijoy for dead with his pace and power, getting on the end of a loose ball, then driving past the Blasters defender and then coolly slotting past the goalkeeper.
The Mariners deservedly went into the break with a two-goal cushion but they further added to their lead five minutes into the second half when Colaco beautifully curled one into the side netting to make it 4-1.
ATK Mohun Bagan threatened to run riot but were denied a fifth goal in the 62nd minute when Gomes saved from Krishna before Manvir’s effort from the rebound was cleared on the line.
The Blasters pulled one back seven minutes later when Diaz finished off a well-constructed move to give them hope but the resolute Mariners held on to claim the all-important three points.
The Blasters would take positives from the match and would look to turn things around against NorthEast United in their next match on November 25.
ATK Mohun Bagan on the other hand will turn their attention to the big Kolkata derby against SC East Bengal on November 27.
Source: ISL Media