ATK Mohun Bagan defeats Bengaluru FC 2-0 in AFC Cup opener

ATK Mohun Bagan (ATKMB) got its AFC Cup campaign off to a winning start as it rode on goals from Roy Krishna and Subhasish Bose to earn a 2-0 win over Bengaluru FC.

Action from the AFC Cup Group D clash between ATK Mohun Bagan and Bengaluru FC.   -  Bengaluru FC

ATK Mohun Bagan (ATKMB) got its AFC Cup campaign off to a winning start as it rode on goals from skipper Roy Krishna and defender Subhasish Bose to earn a commanding 2-0 win over Bengaluru FC (BFC) in its Group D clash at the National Football Stadium in Male on Wednesday.

The two Indian clubs have been clubbed alongside Bangladesh's Bashundahara Kings and Maldivian side Maziya S&RC.   

ATKMB, featuring a new-look star-studded lineup, pushed Bengaluru FC to the backfoot from the get-go. Led by Krishna, the Mariners pressed the Blues deep inside their half and offered them no breathing space.


ATKMB coach Antonio Habas gave star French midfielder Hugo Boumous and goalkeeper Amrinder Singh, who were instrumental in Mumbai City FC's Indian Super League title triumph last season, their debuts.

Boumous took a little while to settle in as he dropped deep and played out of defence, but once he got into his groove the BFC defence found it hard to stop him. He tested Gurpreet Singh Sandhu with a fierce left-footer in the 21st minute before playing a peach of a cross for Krishna three minutes later.

Gurpreet made a fine save in the 32nd minute to deny Boumous from close-range after ATKMB latched onto a counter-attack. However, the BFC goalkeeper could do nothing to keep out Krishna's header in the 39th minute. Boumous curled an out-swinging corner and Bose headed it goalwards for Krishna -- who was unmarked in the box -- to nod it past the 'keeper. ATKMB doubled its right after the restart as Bose received a David Williams pass in the box before twisting away from his marker and curling it past Gurpreet.

Bengaluru threw the proverbial kitchen sink in search of a way back into the game and newly-appointed coach Marco Pezzaiuoli used his full quota of five substitutions, but there was no comeback. The ATKMB defence held on to its clean-sheet, on the day when its star defender Sandesh Jhingan signed for Croatian First Division club HNK Sibenik, to hand Pezzaiuoli his first loss in BFC colors.

Both the Indian teams will be back in action on Saturday as the Mariners face Maziya, while the Blues take on Bashundahara Kings.

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