Kolkata: ATK Mohun Bagan avenged their 3-0 loss to FC Goa earlier this season with a hard-fought 2-1 victory over the Gaurs in the Indian Super League (ISL) at the Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan here on Wednesday.
Dimitri Petratos scored his fifth goal of the season inside ten minutes before Anwar Ali cancelled it out in the 25th minute. Hugo Boumous scored what turned out to be the winning goal for the Mariners in the 52nd minute.
The hosts made two changes. Pronay Halder replaced the injured Deepak Tangri while Lenny Rodrigues dropped to the bench and Boumous returned to the starting XI to face his former club. The visitors made four changes. Marc Hernandez, Glan Martins, Redeem Tlang and Alvaro Vasquez started the game as Fares Arnout, Brison Fernandes, Makan Chothe and Noah Sadoui dropped to the bench.
Early pressure from ATK Mohun Bagan paid off as the deadlock was broken in the ninth minute when Liston Colaco’s quick throw-in from near the halfway line caught the FC Goa backline on the wrong foot. The ball was thrown into the path of Petratos, whose volley from the right flank beat Dheeraj Moirangthem at the near post.
After the opening goal, the Mariners piled the pressure and pushed FC Goa into their own half. A couple of chances to increase their advantage went awry and they were made to pay for for it moments later when Ali got the faintest of touches on an Edu Bedia free kick to put the ball through the legs of Vishal Kaith and into the back of the net in the 25th minute.
The Mariners started the second half exactly the way they started the first. Seven minutes after the break, ATK Mohun Bagan retook the lead courtesy of Boumous. Ashique nicked the ball off Seriton Fernandes near the halfway line before sliding it through to Petratos. The Greek striker squared the ball unselfishly to Boumous, who side-footed the ball into an empty net.
In the 75th minute, Bedia’s free kick caused chaos in the ATK Mohun Bagan box again. This time it was substitute Arnout who got his head to it before Ali rattled the crossbar from close range. Minutes later, Bedia whipped another free kick into the box but it was dealt with by Kaith and the Mariners were off on the counter, which finished with the ball in the net – but the offside flag denied Colaco a goal.
Five minutes from time, ATK Mohun Bagan had a chance to put the game beyond reach. In a four versus two situation, Petratos laid it on a plate for Kuruniyan right in front of goal. The winger failed to keep his shot on target but the hosts managed to hold on to clinch all three points.
The win takes ATK Mohun Bagan back into third, two points behind Hyderabad FC. The Mariners will get a break during the next Match week and will be back in action on January 14 against Mumbai City FC.
FC Goa remain fifth and could drop to sixth if Odisha FC win their game this Matchweek. The Gaurs will return home to host Hyderabad FC on January 5.