Photo Credit: ISL Media Twitter (https://twitter.com/IndSuperLeague/status/1332357124060430338/photo/1)
ISL 2020-21 ATK Mohun Bagan vs East Bengal: ATKMB 'two' good for SC East Bengal
The Kolkata Derby ended up in favor of Mohun Bagan courtesy of two goals scored in the second half.
ATK Mohun Bagan defeated SC East Bengal in the first-ever Kolkata derby in the Indian Super League (ISL). Goals from Roy Krishna and Manvir Singh were the difference between the two sides on Friday night at the Tilak Maidan Stadium in Vasco.
Goals from Roy Krishna and Manvir Singh
Both the sides begin the match with strong intent and purpose. The first chance of the match fell to ATK Mohun Bagan just at the 10th minute of the match when Prabir Das cross ended up hitting the crossbar.
SC East Bengal's first attempt at the goal came at the 20th minute when Anthony Pilkington received a pass just outside the box in ATKMB's half and he took a shot, which unfortunately went straight to the keeper.
Jacques Maghoma was next on the line to get an opportunity to fetch the lead at the half-hour mark when Narayan Das's cross-connected with him, but the former only headed it wide.
The best chance of the half fell to ATKMB's Javier Hernandez, who controlled the ball inside a crowded box to take a venomous shot, forcing Debjit Majumder into a save.
Just two minutes later, Balwant Singh received a cross from the right, but the Indian striker couldn't keep his shot on target, as the scoreline remained intact at the halfway point.
The scoreline was not to remain so in the second phase as just four minutes into the half, Roy Krishna found himself in a good position just outside the box to unleash a powerful shot that beat Debjit into the back of the net, giving the visitors the lead.
The hosts responded quickly and just before the hour mark, Balwant Singh found himself in midst of a quick break that ended up with his shot wide off target. Another strike from Maghoma in the 63rd minute from distance was not good enough to test the keeper.
The Red and Golds held the lion's share of possession and toiled hard for the equalizer but the Mariners were firm and continued to look for opportunities to hit them on the counter.
Pilkington took a ferocious shot from distance at the 83rd minute forced Arindam Bhattacharja into a save. But two minutes later, Manvir Singh paced into the box from the right to finish the ball into the back of the net to score the second of the night and seal the match for the visitors.
ATKMB head coach Antonio Lopez Habas was pleased with the outcome, “I am satisfied because the team played hard. It was a fantastic performance with a lot of effort and I’m very happy.”
“I think we deserved to win because we were superior to our opponents tonight,” he added.
SC East Bengal, however, appeared the better of the two sides in the first half, enjoying a lot of possession. Habas agreed his team didn’t play as expected in the first 45 minutes of the game. “In the first 45 minutes maybe we weren’t on a fantastic level but we kept the score 0-0. The match is a game of 90 minutes and after the match, it was 2-0 for us,” he said.
Habas's side had plenty of opportunities that went begging but Habas defended his side, "In football, it’s impossible to score all the chances but I am happy with the score.”
SC East Bengal head coach Robbie Fowler was happy with the performance though not as much with the outcome, “I am not satisfied with the result but performance-wise we were okay. For a team that has been together for two and a half weeks, I think we put in a good performance. I don’t think there was much [to choose from] between the teams… In the first half, we put in a great performance but the result is disappointing. The performance was okay, and there are glimpses of what we can become,” Fowler said.
Balwant had opportunities to seize the match which he failed to take but Fowler was satisfied with his performance, "Balwant was good tonight and he’s been a handful in training. He put in a good shift. As a forward, you’ll probably be judged on goals and that will always be the case. I’ve got no problem with Balwant. He put in a good shift. It’s not all about scoring goals,” he said.