Bambolim (Goa): Star striker Roy Krishna’s second half strike enabled ATK Mohun Bagan best Kerala Blasters 1-0 on their Indian Super League (ISL) debut on Friday.
Fijian Krishna netted in the 67th-minute at the GMC Stadium, Bambolim.
The Yellow Brigade playing with a heavy defensive lineup of 4-2-3-1 managed to thwart ATKMB throughout the first half but after the hour mark, they left a loose ball as the Fijian International pounced on it with a calm and composed finish.
All eyes were on the 131-year-old legacy club Mohun Bagan as they were making their ISL debut following their ‘marriage’ with three-time defending champions ATK.
The match had an interesting sub-plot as Kibu Vicuna, who had guided Mohun Bagan to their fifth I-League title last season, sat in the opposite dugout in KBFC jersey, while the most successful ISL coach Antonio Lopez Habas was at the helm of ATKMB.
Habas named a predictable 3-5-2 lineup with their star signing Sandesh Jhingan helming the defence in his first outing after a lengthy injury layoff of more than 12 months.
ATKMB had a dominant first half and made some early inroads with Roy Krishna missing an early chance, even as KBFC enjoyed more ball possession in the first 45 minutes.
KBFC, who were the designated home team, looked more threatening and came out with an attacking intent in the second half.
But KBFC were made to pay for it as Roy Krishna made amends for his three misses in the first half with his poacher goal to become the difference between the two sides.
That goal was enough for ATKMB to sink Kerala Blasters’ hearts.
Bagan next face their arch-rivals SC East Bengal on 27 November, in what would the maiden ‘Kolkata Derby’ in the ISL’s history.
In the second match of the tournament, NorthEast United FC and Mumbai City FC will aim to change their fortunes as they clash at the Tilak Maidan in Vasco here on Saturday.
Match-winner @RoyKrishna21 is still buzzing after our first win! 🤩
He goes down as the first goal-scorer for #ATKMohunBagan in @IndSuperLeague history! 💚❤️#ATKMohunBagan #JoyMohunBagan #Mariners #KBFCATKMB #IndianFootball pic.twitter.com/i4jsBFdAIh
— ATK Mohun Bagan FC (@atkmohunbaganfc) November 20, 2020