ATK Mohun Bagan rides on Liston Colaco’s hat-trick to sink Basundhara Kings 4-0

Liston Colaco’s hat-trick helped ATK Mohun Bagan secure a 4-0 win against Basundhara Kings

ATK Mohun Bagan made a brilliant comeback in the 2021/22 AFC Cup on Saturday as they handed Bangladesh Premier League team, Basundhara Kings, a 4-0 drubbing. Liston Colaco scored a hat-trick for the Indian Super League outfit, whilst the other goal was scored by David Williams.

Given the humiliating defeat against Gokulam Kerala in their campaign opener, the Mariners’ head coach Juan Ferrando made four changes to his starting XI. Arsh Anwar, Sandesh Jhingan, Deepak Tangri and Carl McHugh came in place of Amrinder Singh, Tiri, Lenny Rodrigues and Williams.

On the other hand, Oscar Bruzon made a couple of changes to the team that won 1-0 against Maziya S&RC. Mohammad Ibrahim made way for Rimon Hossain, whilst Chinedu Idneyi replaced Nuha Marong.

Though ATK Mohun Bagan was by far the better team in this fixture, the first big opportunity of the game fell to the Bangladeshi outfit in only the second minute. McHugh’s sloppy defending allowed Chinedu to win possession and set up a fantastic pass for Miguel Damasceno, but the Brazilian midfielder failed to find the target with the entire goal gaping.

Following a break due to incessant downpour, the Kings continued creating opportunities. In the 19th minute, another Brazilian, Robinho almost found the back of the net with his free kick, but his attempt struck the crossbar and stayed out. A couple of minutes later, Rimon tried to justify his selection in the starting XI by pulling the trigger, but Anwar was alert to the danger in the hosts’ goal.

Bruzon’s men were dominant in the first twenty minutes but failed to make their chances count, which later came back to haunt them. The deadlock was eventually broken in the 25th minute, courtesy of a defensive howler from Biswanath Ghosh. The Basundhara defender botched up his clearance attempt and allowed Liston to have an unchallenged strike at goal, which he did beautifully.

The silky winger doubled his and his team’s tally only nine minutes later when Joni Kauko found him with a perfect pass. Liston then did well to round up the opposition’s custodian Anisur Rahman Zico before tucking him his shot.

Like the first half, it was the Bangladeshi team that had an impressive start in the second period. Defender Yeasin Arafat went for glory in the 51st minute and almost found the corner, but Anwar made yet another fine save to preserve his team’s two-goal lead.

For the second time on the night, missed opportunities proved fatal for the Kings as ATK Mohun Bagan scored their third goal only a couple of minutes later. Liston took full advantage of another defensive blunder, this time from Iranian defender Khaled Shafiei, to complete his hat-trick.

Bruzon’s team almost retaliated immediately as three minutes after scoring the third goal, Robinho launched an inch-perfect freekick into the box which found the head of Yeasin, but his header was just a whisker away from the net.

Buzzing with confidence, Liston made an audacious attempt to score his fourth goal in the 65th minute as he tried to round up Zico once again, but this time, the Bangladeshi goalkeeper managed to get the better of the 23-year-old.

David Williams scored the fourth goal for the hosts

David Williams scored the fourth goal for the hosts

However, Ferrando’s side did not have to wait long for the fourth goal, which eventually arrived in the 77th minute. Manvir Singh received a through ball from Subhasish Bose before cutting it back for substitute Williams, who made no mistake in getting his name on the scoresheet.

Though the game was already out of their grasp, Basundhara did try to get at least one goal back in the dying stages of the match. In the 83rd minute, Jhingan’s miscued clearance attempt provided Eleta Kingsley with an opportunity to reduce the deficit, but like everyone else in his team, the Bangladeshi striker let the chance go begging.ATK Mohun Bagan will now take on Maldivian outfit Maziya S&RC on Tuesday, 24th May, whereas Basundhara Kings will be up against I-League side Gokulam Kerala on the same day. Both matches will be played at Kolkata’s Salt Lake Stadium.