ATK Mohun Bagan continued to hold sway over its traditional rival Emami East Bengal as it prevailed over the latter by a solitary goal in a Group B match of the 131st Durand Cup at the Salt Lake Stadium here on Sunday.
ATK Mohun Bagan’s win was tragically realised by an own goal coming from East Bengal forward Sumeet Passi in the injury-time of the first half.
This was the sixth straight win for ATK Mohun Bagan which has been winning every meeting against East Bengal since January 2020.
Watched by a capacity crowd of around 65000, the match failed to reach the desired height as the classical opponents struggled to find form in the attacking third. ATK Mohun Bagan enjoyed a slight edge in the creative part as it started assailing East Bengal with greater frequency. But the goal remained elusive as the East Bengal defence stood up to the challenge and kept its box sealed from ATK Bagan’s attackers for the most part of the game.
ATK Mohun Bagan had the first good opportunity off Ashique Kuruniyan but the winger could not keep his attempt on target despite showing quick feet to elude the East Bengal defence.
The goal finally happened in injury time when a corner taken by Liston Colaco was missed by the first line of East Bengal defence and the ball sneaked through to hit Passi and deflect inside the goal.
Mohun Bagan had more chances after the break but missed the presence of a positive striker after having released the Fijian forward Roy Krishna the previous season. East Bengal, which adopted a counter-attacking approach, had some chances but none of them was sharp enough to beat the ATKMB goalkeeper Vishal Kaith.
Mohun Bagan tallied four points from three matches after the win while East Bengal remained on two points from three matches to virtually see its Durand Cup hopes vanishing.
In today’s other match: TRAU fights back to win 2-1 against Army Red
Two late goals enabled Trau to secure a come-from-behind 2-1 victory over Army Red in a Group C match of the Durand Cup football tournament at the Khuman Lampak Stadium in Imphal on Sunday.
Liton Shil put Army Red ahead in the 35th minute.
Baoringdao Bodo drew parity in the 81st minute, while Milan Singh netted the winner in the 89th minute to ensure Trau’s first win.
With three points from this match, Trau replaced Army Red, which has two points from three outings, in the third place.
The result: Trau 2 (Bodo 81, Milan 89) bt Army Red 1 (Liton 35).