The biggest fixture in Indian football resumed again, the first time ISL, with ATKMB getting better of Robbie Fowler’s SC East Bengal.
SC East Bengal 0-2 ATK Mohun Bagan: First Half
Robbie Fowler started with a 3-4-3 formation, whereas Habas opted for his same 3-5-2 formation from ATKMB’s opening fixture. Both teams started cautiously and the game really lacked quality in the first quarter of the game.
Then East Bengal started passing around the ball but failed to take control of the midfield as ATKMB’s midfielders remained organized. SCEB’s forward line did not get many chances to pounce on as Pritam, Tiri, Sandesh kept composure.
Even ATKMB saw chances hard to come by as their wide-men Prabir Das and Subhashish Bose could not get forward as much as they’d have liked. One cross from Prabir hit the post, then Debjit Mazumder brilliantly saved a shot from Javi Hernandez before half-time.
In the second half, ATKMB found their rhythm and started to create more chances. Roy Krishna scored 4 minutes in the second half with a powerful left-footed strike. Goalkeeper Debjit Mazumder was to be blamed partially for this as his positioning was not good.
Then East Bengal started to dominate the ball higher up the pitch as Habas wanted to continue sincerely and defensively. But East Bengal couldn’t go past ATKMB’s back 3, so they started to take shots from distance.
Arindam made two fine saves in the second half, and that was pretty much everything in terms of attacking from East Bengal.
Another highlight moment of this half was when second-half substitute Manvir Singh ran down the right-wing chasing a long ball by Prabir Das, he cut inside the penalty box and finished at the top left-hand corner with a brilliant left-footed strike.
SCEB’s defence was partially at fault for this goal. They did not press Manvir as he went inside the penalty area. But Manvir took the goal brilliantly and ATKMB held on to their two-goal advantage.
Habas was very happy with his team’s performance. He told the reporters after the match that ATKMB had control of the whole game and were superior to SCEB.
Fowler was also pleased with his side’s display against one of the strongest sides in the league. Fowler also said that East Bengal matched ATKMB‘s performance although having a short pre-season. He is optimistic that his team will improve as the tournament progresses.
Due to a short pre-season, East Bengal players played with less harmony and coordination, the second goal of ATKMB was proof of this. On the other hand, ATKMB were much more organized. They created fewer chances and did not dominate the ball, but kept their shape intact to lock SCEB out and scored their second from a counter.
A very entertaining game which ATKMB won with conviction and teamwork.
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