There was nearly the entire length of the points table separating the two sides ahead of the big night, and it showed in the final result. ATK Mohun Bagan turned up as the better team on the night walking away with a convincing 3-1 victory over SC East Bengal at the Fatorda Stadium on Friday.
With this win, the Mariners finish the season of the 100th year of the Kolkata derby with a double over their arch rivals.
Roy Krishna was the hero for ATKMB with a goal and two assists.
Antonio Habas’ ATKMB have notched up five wins in a row now and lead Mumbai City FC by five points at the top with the latter having a game in hand. It’s a massive advantage to have in the race for the top spot and the AFC Champions League quota at stake.
Krishna (15’) opened the scoring for the Mariners before SCEB pulled one back through an own goal from Tiri (41’). Krishna later set up goals for David Williams (72’) and Javier Hernandez (89’) to help the Mariners secure the derby bragging rights while strengthening their lead at the top.
ATKMB were more dominant in the opening half, creating more chances. Bagan made their intentions clear from the start, putting the SCEB defense under pressure.
Their perseverance paid off as the Mariners were first to draw blood. Tiri pumped a long ball upfront into the box for Krishna. The Fijian displayed great control to trap the ball before producing a neat finish, extending his goal tally to 12 for the season.
Bagan fashioned another great chance in the 23rd minute but SCEB custodian Subrata Paul made a fine save. Williams threaded a through ball into the box for Marcelinho whose effort was parried away by Paul.
SCEB failed to register a single shot on target in the opening half. It looked like Bagan would head into the break with their noses in front, but a defensive error helped SCEB restore parity.
Raju Gaikwad took a throw-in and directed it at the far-post which was inadvertently diverted by Tiri into his own net.
SCEB’s struggles in the attacking third continued after the change of ends as they failed to test Bagan keeper Arindam Bhattacharja. Bagan, meanwhile, failed to make the most of the chances they created.
Bagan doubled their tally after the hour mark with Krishna turning creator this time. Krishna intercepted a poor pass from Daniel Fox before laying a pass for Williams who buried his first-time shot straight down the middle.
Hernandez then put the result beyond SCEB’s reach with a late goal. Krishna’s lofted pass was headed in by the Spaniard to derail SCEB’s hopes of a comeback.
As things stand, ATKMB put themselves in a great position to finish top of the table.
ISL table after match No 99
|ATK Mohun Bagan||18||12||3||3||26:11||15||39|
|SC East Bengal||18||3||8||7||16:25||-9||17|