Durand Cup 2019: Fran Morante and Joseba Beitia scores as Mohun Bagan trump ATK

Mohun Bagan
Mohun Bagan
Mohun Bagan bounced back from their 0-3 loss to Peerless SC with a fine win over ATK.....

Mohun Bagan returned to winnings ways in the 2019 Durand Cup with a 2-1 over ATK on Thursday at the Mohun Bagan ground.

Kibu Vicuna made wholesale changes to his side after succumbing to a 0-3 defeat against Peerless in the Calcutta Football League (CFL). Goalkeeper Shilton Paul was dropped from the matchday squad and Sankar Roy started in his place under the sticks.

Fran Morante and Ashutosh Mehta were reinstated in defence and SK Sahil, Surabuddin Mollick and Nongdamba Naorem slotted in at the centre of the park along with Joseba Beitia. An injured Salva Chamorro was replaced by VP Suhair.

For ATK, there were quite a few familiar names in the line-up with Komal Thatal, Cavin Lobo, Salam Ranjan Singh, and Prabir Das being handed starts.

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Bagan started on the front foot and could have drawn first blood in the second minute of the match when Gurjinder Kumar's cross found Surabuddin at the far post. However, the winger failed to convert. 

Joseba Beitia's midfield display was instrumental for Mohun Bagan in dominating the match. He was ably supported by Sahil who took up the role of a defensive midfielder and broke down numerous ATK attacks.

The deadlock was finally broken on the 34th minute with Morante's header piercing the net after the defender rose the highest and connected well to a corner floated into the box by Beitia.

Bagan continued their dominance after the break and continued to raid ATK's defence through the right-wing. ATK's backline crumbled once again as Beitia scored Bagan's second in the 53rd minute. Surabuddin released Suhair with a lobbed pass over ATK's defence and the former Gokulam Kerala striker pulled it back for Beitia who scored from the edge of the box.

The Sanjeev Goenka-owned club finally found the net when Bagan's defence failed to clear Malsawmzuala's through ball and Ashish Pradhan nicked it home after a melee in the box.

ATK found their footing after scoring the goal and they troubled Bagan's defence on a few occasions but lacked finesse in the attacking third. Komal came close to finding the net late in injury time but Roy was alert to tip it off. To add to the late drama, Surbuddin was shown the second yellow card after he got into a scuffle with Anil Chawan.

With the win, Mohun Bagan remain unbeaten in Durand Cup and will be back in action on August 14 against Calcutta Customs in CFL.