Durand Cup: ATK Mohun Bagan keeps last-8 hopes alive after win; Kerala Blasters enters quarters

ATK Mohun Bagan kept its quarterfinals hopes alive after a 2-0 win against the Indian Navy. Kerala Blasters won 2-0 against Army Green to book its place in the quarterfinals.

Published : Aug 31, 2022 19:20 IST

Lenny Rodriguez of ATK Mohun Bagan scores the first goal of the match.
Lenny Rodriguez of ATK Mohun Bagan scores the first goal of the match. | Photo Credit: Debasish Bhaduri/The Hindu

Lenny Rodriguez of ATK Mohun Bagan scores the first goal of the match. | Photo Credit: Debasish Bhaduri/The Hindu

ATK Mohun Bagan vs Indian Navy: ATKMB clinches 2-0 win to keep quarters hopes alive

ATK Mohun Bagan rode on first-half goals from Lenny Rodrigues and Kiyan Nassiri to prevail over Indian Navy 2-0 in a Group-B league match of the 131st Durand Cup at the Kishore Bharati Stadium on Wednesday. 

The 16-time champion completed its group league outing netting seven points from four matches, but that couldn’t guarantee it a spot in the knock-out stage (quarterfinals) as it has an unfavourable head-to-head record against Rajasthan United.

ALSO READ: Highlights ATK Mohun Bagan 2-0 Indian Navy, Durand Cup 2022: Kiyan, Lenny goals guide Mariners to win; keeps quarters hopes alive

The I-League team from Jaipur, which has four points from three matches, has the chance to overtake the green-and-maroon brigade on a better head-to-head record if it beats the Indian Navy in the concluding group league fixture (on September 5). Former ISL champion Mumbai City FC (seven points from three matches) has already finalised a knock-out stage berth and can become the group topper if it is able to get even one point from its final league match against Emami East Bengal on Saturday. 

East Bengal is already out of the tournament, netting just two points from three matches, while Indian Navy has met the same fate having just one from its three games.

Needing just a win to stay in the hunt, ATKMB coach Juan Ferrando fielded a side without any foreigners with the preference to preserve them for the team’s upcoming AFC Cup inter-zonal semifinal fixture scheduled on September 7. 

Lenny Rodrigues opened the scoring in the 18th minute, making the most of a crowded Navy goalmouth as he kept his composure to find the corner of the net.

Kiyan Nassiri fetched the insurance goal in the 28th minute when he made a long solo run after finding the ball outside the Navy box and placed it home past the Navy goalkeeper V.K Vishnu. Mohun Bagan had good chances to enhance the lead after the break, but Manvir Singh and Fardin Ali Molla missed the target from close.

Match result:
ATK Mohun Bagan 2 (Lenny 18, Kiyan 28) bt Indian Navy 0.

Kerala Blasters vs Army Green: Kerala books quarters berth with 2-0 win

For Blasters, Muhammad Aimen opened the account in the 25th minute and Aritra Das widened the lead in the injury time of the first half. With this win, Blasters gathered seven points.

The youthful Blasters’ brigade began on a positive note with the midfield playing an important role in creating chances.

A beautiful move resulted in Blasters’ first goal.

Roshan Gigi took the ball on the right and passed it on to Mohammed Ajsal and the latter gave it to Aimen on the left. Aimen again underlined his utility as he curled it in with his right foot.

Moments prior to the whistle for the half-time, Aritra took the ball into the box on the left and unleashed a stunning left-footer into the net to spread cheers in the Blasters camp.

Blasters came close to scoring in the second half when Aimen’s attempt hit the left post.

Army Green, which could not make the most of its opportunities in the opening half, created several lovely moves but could not find the target due to Blasters custodian Sachin Suresh’s alertness.

Match Result:
Kerala Blasters 2 (Aimen 25, Aritra 45+3) bt Army Green 0.
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