The Mariners proved their quality once again by clinching three points at the Kolkata Derby on Saturday.
ATK Mohun Bagan continued their impressive form in the Indian Super League (ISL) 2021-22 season as they swiped SC East Bengal aside at the Kolkata Derby. Regarded as the biggest game in Indian football, the Kolkata Derby became an one-side affair as Antonio Habas and his boys put SC East Bengal to the sword.
By the 23rd minute, the Mariners were 3-0 up, putting the contest to bed. Goals from Roy Krishna, Manvir Singh, and Liston Colaco helped the club build on their perfect start. It eventually ended up to be men against boys as ATK Mohun Bagan strolled to victory. The club have now scored seven goals, their highest-ever tally in their first two matchdays.
After the match, ATK Mohun Bagan’s head coach Habas spoke in the post-match press conference.
The coach’s verdict
The performance of the Mariners delighted Antonio Lopez Habas. “I’m very happy with the team and the performance. We wanted to show good organization, and then wanted to focus on individual quality and I think the players had a very good game. We need to see what mistakes we made in the game today and be ready for the next one,” he began.
Habas and ATK Mohun Bagan would have faced a mild surprise when they saw SC East Bengal’s attacking setup. But the Mariners showed their class by settling into the game within the first quarter. They absorbed the pressure while finding gaps and fissures in the East Bengal defence. They did it with precision, leading to three goals inside the first 22 minutes to dent SC East Bengal’s plans.
A new star in Joni Kauko
Most of ATK Mohun Bagan’s star players stepped up and Joni Kauko was not different. The Finn put in a brilliant performance against the Red and Gold Brigade on Saturday night. He set up the second goal with an inch-perfect pass for Manvir Singh. However, his finishing let him down but Habas was all praise for the midfielder.
“You know, I don’t usually call out one player in a winning performance. But we know that Joni (Kauko) is a very good player. He is a great professional and he is going to be a very important player for us this season,” Antonio Habas quipped.
ATK Mohun Bagan face arguably their toughest test yet when they face defending champions Mumbai City FC in their next game. The two heavyweights will clash on Wednesday, December 1 at the Fatorda Stadium.