Krishna, Manvir seal ATK Mohun Bagan’s first ISL derby win

Vasco, Nov 27: Fijian striker Roy Krishna continued his prolific goal-scoring form as he helped ATK Mohun Bagan prevail over SC East Bengal 2-0 in the first ever Indian Super League derby here on Friday.
Krishna, who had scored ATKMB’s lone goal against Kerala Blasters in their campaign opener, struck in the 49th minute before Manvir Singh killed the contest in the 85th minute with a solo effort. With two wins on the trot, ATK Mohun Bagan led the table with six points, followed by Northeast United FC. It was a typical Antonio Lopez Habas’ style of play that panned out on the field as ATKMB were slow to get off the blocks before taking control of the game.
Their defence, helmed by Tiri, put up a disciplined show to return with a clean slate for their second successive match. For Liverpool legend Robbie Fowler, who built the SC East Bengal in less than a month’s time, it was a disappointing start to his coaching stint in India as he was let down badly by his striker up front. As the sole striker, Balwant Singh was wayward up front and missed a sitter at the hour mark when he blasted over the bar just in front of the net.
They had the better ball possession but looked thin up front, leaving too much to do for their vice-captain and former Norwich City winger Anthony Pilkington. Plenty to prove as a coach in the ISL, Fowler went in for a defensive 4-3-2-1 formation with Narayan Das, Scott Neville, Daniel Fox and Rana Gharami in the backline. Habas, the most successful ISL coach, was predictable in his approach, bringing back David Williams alongside Krishna, while Pritam Kotal, Tiri and Sandesh Jhingan guarded the goalmouth.
As in their last match against Kerala Blasters, ATKMB struggled to get going initially, while SCEB made some fine attacking moves but lacked the finishing touches.
The first opportunity came in the seventh minute when Anthony Pilkington brilliantly broke through the defences from the left but only to trip on his way inside the box. Balwant had another brilliant chance in the 38th minute from a Surchandra Singh cross but the striker hit it past the far post. ATKMB had their first real chance just a minute before with Javier Hernandez on the target but Debjit Majumder came on his way as the first half saw a stalemate. (PTI)

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