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ISL 2020: ATK Mohun Bagan defeat Kerala Blasters in opening game

ATK Mohun Bagan started the Indian Super League 2020/21 season on a high with a 1-0 win over Kerala Blasters at the GMC Stadium in Bambolim, Goa on Friday. Roy Krishna scored the first goal of the ISL 2020/21 season and his strike in the 67th minute was enough for ATK Mohun Bagan to secure their fifth win in 13 encounters against Kerala Blasters. It was a cautious start from both teams as they looked to get into the groove in the new season of the ISL that will be played behind closed doors due to the coronavirus pandemic that is currently surging in India.

The commencement of the tournament marked the return of the first major live sporting action in India after the COVID-19 lockdown. Kerala Blasters FC played with a heavy defensive lineup of 4-2-3-1 managed to thwart ATK Mohun Bagan throughout the first half.

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 year, sat in the Kerala Blasters dugout while the most successful ISL coach Antonio Lopez Habas was at the helm of ATK Mohun Bagan.

During the first-half of the game, both the side gave each other a tough competition, restricting one another from taking a lead. After a goal-less first half, both sides started playing aggressively in the second half.

Roy Krishna the star

However, it was ATK Mohun Bagan that managed to take advantage. Roy Krishna netted the goal in the 67th minute, putting his side ahead of the Kerala Blasters. The match did not witness more goals and ATK Mohun Bagan came victorious. For his match-winning performance, Krishna won the Hero of the Match award.

After guiding his team to the victory, Krishna said he is happy to get on the scoresheet. “I am happy to play for this team, especially for this club. It is a privilege. I will not take all the credit. I think we defended really well. I had a few chances in the first half, disappointed. But happy to get on the scoresheet,” he said in a video posted by ATK Mohun Bagan on Twitter.

-With inputs from ANI-

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