ATK Mohun Bagan returns to winning ways by defeating Odisha 2-0
ATK Mohun Bagan finally returned to winning ways in the 2022-23 Indian Super League season as they handed Odisha a 2-0 defeat here at Kolkata’s Salt Lake Stadium with Dimitri Petratos scoring a brace for the Mariners.
After a disappointing 0-0 draw against Chennaiyin in the last match, ATK Mohun Bagan head coach Juan Ferrando made two changes to his starting XI. New signing Glan Martins was given a start alongside Ashique Kuruniyan while Puitea and Liston Colaco were dropped to the bench.
On the other hand, Odisha head coach Josep Gambau made only one change to the team that suffered a 1-3 defeat against Bengaluru. Sahil Panwar was reinstated in the left-back position, with Denechandra Meitei making way for him.
The match had a blistering start as the Mariners scored from the very first attack of the game in just the third minute. After a darting run down the left flank, Hugo Boumous played a precise diagonal ball for Manvir Singh on the right.
The Indian attacker tried to play the ball back towards Boumous’ path, and while his attempt was blocked by Osama Malik, the rebound fell for Petratos. The Australian striker kept his calm to slot the ball past the Kalinga Warriors’ custodian Amrinder Singh.
Ferrando’s team dominated possession and had multiple chances of adding to their advantage. Manvir took a shot himself only two minutes later, but it went straight to the gloves of his former teammate, Amrinder.
In the 16th minute, Kuruniyan tried his luck from distance and did well to keep his shot on target, but Amrinder once again came to the rescue of Gambau’s side. Around the half-hour mark, Manvir had another attempt, but this time around, his effort was blocked by a player in black.
It took the visitors 37 minutes to launch their first notable attack, as winger Nandhakumar Sekar went for glory from outside the box. However, his shot was saved by the Mariners’ goalkeeper, Vishal Kaith.
That chance served as a wake-up call for the hosts, who once again went all-out on the attack and had a great chance in the 43rd minute. Operating from the right flank this time around, Boumous put in a precise cross for Kuruniyan, but his shot was not on target.
Unlike the first half, the first chance of the second half fell to Odisha. After a melee in a dangerous area, the ball somehow fell for Carlos Delgado who tried a long-ranger, but the centre-back’s attempt highlighted why he plays in defense and not as a striker.
Just before the hour-mark, the Mariners had their first major chance of the second half. From a free-kick, Petratos launched a cross into the box which found Martins. The homecoming hero tried a heroic volley, but his attempt was nowhere near on target.
ATK Mohun Bagan did well to take the fizz out of Odisha’s pressure for a few minutes, but the Kalinga Warriors did have a major chance in the 73rd minute. After receiving a throw from Narender Gahlot, Spanish midfielder Saul Crespo played a pass for Isak Vanlalruatfela, but the Mizo youngster’s attempt was not on target.
Against the run of play, the Mariners doubled their advantage and effectively settled the affair in the 80th minute. A brilliant pass from Boumous found Asish Rai completely unmarked on the right flank, but instead of going for glory himself, the full-back showed the presence of mind to lay a pass for Petratos instead. With an empty net gazing, the former Western Sydney Wanderers player could simply not miss.
Ferrando’s side almost had a third goal only four minutes later as two substitutes tried to make a case for themselves. Federico Gallego played a pass for Colaco, whose shot had Amrinder stranded, but it struck the woodwork and stayed out.
The last notable moment from the game did not involve any football action, but instead, a skirmish broke out on the field as Kuruniyan and Delgado engaged in a battle to establish supremacy. Ultimately, the referee had to step in, as he handed marching orders to the Mariners’ winger.
With this win, ATK Mohun Bagan reclaimed the third position in the standings, with 27 points in their account from 15 matches. They will now take on Bengaluru next Sunday, while Odisha, who dropped down to the sixth place with 22 points in 15 matches, will take on Chennaiyin on Thursday.