ATK Mohun Bagan registered their first win of the AFC Cup 2022 after beating Bangladeshi side Bashundhara Kings 4-0 in their second Group D encounter at the Salt Lake Stadium, Kolkata on Saturday. The Indian Super League (ISL) side had lost their opener to Gokulam Kerala last week.
Liston Colaco (24’, 33’, 53’) scored a hat-trick for ATKMB while David Williams (77’) scored the other goal.
Juan Ferrando, the ATKMB coach, made four changes to the side he started with against Gokulam, with Sandesh Jhingan coming back into the starting XI.
It was Bashundhara Kings who threatened to score early after Chinedu dispossessed Carl McHugh near the ATKMB box and fed it to Miguel Figueira Damasceno near the edge of the box. The Brazilian got his shot off but couldn’t hit the target.
Soon after, the match was suspended for a good 50 minutes due to stormy conditions in Kolkata.
When play resumed, Bashundhara Kings looked the likelier team to score. Robinho hit the far post with a free-kick right around the 18-minute mark and moments later, ATKMB goalkeeper Arsh Anwar managed to deflect a cracking Rimon Hossain volley from distance onto the woodwork.
The ball fell back menacingly inside the ATKMB box but Jhingan did well to mop up.
The missed opportunities would come back to haunt Bashundhara Kings as Liston Colaco struck in quick succession to give ATKMB a 2-0 lead.
A defensive mistake from Bashundhara Kings’ experienced defender Bishwanath Ghosh led to the opener. Colaco pounced on Ghosh’s failed clearance and slotted it past Kings custodian Anisur to open the scoring around the 24-minute mark.
The winger doubled his team’s advantage nine minutes later after latching onto a through ball from Joni Kauko, who turned his man brilliantly before threading it through. Colaco made no mistakes and rounded the goalkeeper to make it 2-0.
The first half ended with the score 2-0 in favour of the Indian club.
In the second half, Oscar Bruzon’s Bashundhara Kings threw caution to the wind in search of goals that would bring them back into the contest. Arsh Anwar, however, preserved the margin with some good saves to preserve ATKMB’s lead.
The Kolkata side made it 3-0 in the 53rd minute and it was Colaco again with the goal. Manvir Singh capitalised on yet another defensive mistake by the Bashundhara Kings defence and fed it to Colaco, who calmly netted his hat-trick goal from close range.
In the 77th minute, Manvir Singh was the provider yet again as he set up second-half substitute David Williams for ATKMB’s fourth goal of the match to complete the final scoreline.
The win takes ATKMB to the top of the Group D table with three points from two games. Gokulam are second with three points from one and are set to play Maziya later in the day.
The group winner will advance to the inter zonal semi-finals.