ATK Mohun Bagan cruise to victory against Bengaluru FC in AFC Cup opener

Roy Krishna (39th) and Subhasish Bose (46th) were the goal-scorers for ATK Mohun Bagan in the opening group match. Sunil Chhetri was substituted in the 68th minute.

By Abhishek Purohit

ATK Mohun Bagan beat Bengaluru FC 2-0 in the all-Indian Group D opener of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Cup at the National Football Stadium in Malé, Maldives.

Roy Krishna (39th minute) and Subhasish Bose (46th) were the goal-scorers for ATK Mohun Bagan.

The 2016 AFC Cup finalists Bengaluru FC had the majority of the possession (68 per cent) and the better of the initial exchanges, but once ATK Mohun Bagan found some rhythm, they didn’t look back.

It was Bengaluru FC’s Jayesh Rane who made the first major move with a long-range, wide shot at his former club’s goal in the 4th minute.

However, ATK Mohun Bagan gradually started to build momentum, especially on the counters.

Hugo Boumous, recruited from Mumbai City FC, was energetically making inroads into the Bengaluru FC box on his debut.

ATK Mohun Bagan had a clear opportunity in the 32nd minute when Roy Krishna managed to make his way into the box. Hugo tore forward to receive Krishna’s cross but Bengaluru FC goalkeeper Gurpreet Singh Sandhu came up with a terrific save with his right leg.

ATK Mohun Bagan were looking much likelier to score than Bengaluru FC and so they did, when Roy Krishna deflected a Subhasish Bose header in off a Hugo corner in the 39th minute.

Bengaluru FC had a corner of their own at the stroke of half-time only for the header to go wide.

ATK Mohun Bagan made it 2-0 right after the interval. David Williams homed in yet another accurate pass, this time to Subhasish Bose, who turned around and beat Gurpreet Singh Sandhu with a left-footer.

Cleiton Silva had a chance a little later for Bengaluru FC only to be denied by ATK Mohun Bagan custodian Amrinder Singh.

Meanwhile, Sunil Chhetri was hardly to be seen around the ball throughout his stay in the middle until he was substituted by Leon Augustine in the 68th.

Hugo Boumous continued giving headaches to Bengaluru FC, as he fired in a free-kick at Gurpreet before being substituted in the 72nd by Bidyananda Singh.

Parag Shrivas had a late opening for Bengaluru FC after nutmegging Manvir Singh. However, his attempt could not get past Amrinder Singh, and that was to be it for Bengaluru FC’s chances.

Bengaluru FC will take on Bangladesh side Bashundhara Kings next while ATK Mohun Bagan will clash with Maziya Sports and Recreation Club of Maldives. Both matches will be played on Saturday at the National Football Stadium in Malé.