Dimitri Petratos scores a hat-trick as ATK Mohun Bagan defeats Kerala Blasters in a seven-goal thriller￼
Petratos’ treble helped the Mariners earn a scintillating 5-2 win as they extended their undefeated streak against the Blasters to five games in the ISL. His goals came in the 26th, 62nd, and 92nd minutes.
The Mariners’ other two goals came via Joni Kauko and Lenny Rodrigues. On the other hand, Kerala’s goals were scored by Ukrainian midfielder Ivan Kalyuzhnyi and Rahul KP.
Moreover, Petratos became the 17th foreign player to score a hat-trick in the league and also the first Australian to do so. He joins the likes of Roy Krishna, Diego Forlan, Bartholomew Ogbeche, Coro, and many more. With this troika of goals, the Australian also scored the 26th hat-trick in the league’s history.
Kerala Blasters coach Ivan Vukomanovic fielded his side in a 4-3-3 formation with Prabhsukhan Gill guarding the sticks. Jessel Carneiro and Harmanjot Khabra bombarded and shielded the flanks while Hormipam Ruivah and Marko Leskovic took their spot in the heart of the defense.
Jeakson Singh, Sahal Abdul Samad, Adrian Luna, and Puitea formed the midfield four with Samad and Luna playing in the wings whilst Dimitris Diamantakos and Ivan Kalyuzhnyi shared the striking responsibilities for the hosts.
ATK Mohun Bagan boss Juan Ferrando opted for a 3-4-3 formation and started with Vishal Kaith in the goalpost and the trio of Pritam Kotal, Brendan Hamill, and Ashique Kuruniyan started in a three-man defense. The midfield was filled by Deepak Tangri, Joni Kauko, Liston Colaco, and Asish Rai with Colaco and Rai being deployed in the flanks.
Hugo Boumous played as the left-forward who consistently dropped as the No. 10 to dictate play behind the two strikers Dimitri Petratos and Manvir Singh who was playing the game as the right-forward.
The noise inside the stadium reached a crescendo when Kaliuzhnyi put the hosts in front just six minutes into the game. The Blasters started the game well, and their early pressure paid off as the Ukrainian combined well with Samad on the right before beating the Mariner’s keeper at the near post.
The stands were silenced in the 26th minute after Boumous sprinted down the left flank and skipped past Hormipam before unselfishly putting it on a plate for Petratos to tap the equaliser in.
The game turned on its head in the 38th minute when Manvir spotted Kauko darting towards the box from midfield. The striker found the midfielder with a precise ball before Kauko smashed the ball into the back of the net, swinging the advantage over to the Mariners on enemy territory.
The Blasters could have had more as they put the visitors under immense pressure and kept knocking at the mariners’ door, but the team from Kolkata did not give up despite being outplayed in the initial phase of the game and managed to go into the lead before the halftime whistle.
Ferrando’s side came out after the break and was determined to hold on to the lead they had worked so hard for. At the hour-mark, it got chaotic in the ATK Mohun Bagan box as Samad’s cross to Carneiro was intercepted by Hamill. The defender’s header, however, rattled the crossbar and came back into play before Diamantakos missed the ball while attempting an overhead kick. The ball stayed in play before Kaliuzhnyi put it out.
And much to the delight of the travelling fans, at the other end, two minutes later, Boumous played another beautiful pass through to Colaco. The winger raced into the box and rolled it into the path of Petratos who smashed it home to establish a two-goal cushion as the Bengal-based team added to their tally. Florentin Pogba came on for Boumous in the 71st minute as the Mariners went on the defensive to protect their lead.
Nine minutes from the full-time whistle, a Vishal Kaith blunder enabled Rahul KP to pull one back. Rahul’s cross from the right flank picked up a slight deflection and slipped through the gloves of Kaith and snuck into the goal from in between his legs, much to the embarrassment of the experienced Kaith.
The Blasters pulled themselves back into the game courtesy of a terrible lapse of judgement from the seasoned keeper Kaith as he failed to collect the ball and let it roll between his legs after the spills.
Any hopes of a Blasters comeback were laid to rest when substitute Lenny Rodrigues pounced on a weak Jeakson pass in midfield and started a counter by playing it through to Petratos. The Australian played the ball back to Rodrigues before the midfielder put his name on the scoresheet, two minutes from time.
Moments later, Rodrigues initiated another attack as he played an excellent ball to Colaco, who played it into the path of Petratos. The striker tapped it in from close range to complete a well-deserved hat-trick in second-half stoppage time.
The game ended 2-5 in favour of the mariners who managed to maintain their unbeaten record against the team from Kerala.
The Blasters will be on the road for the first time this season as they travel to face Odisha on Sunday, in their next fixture. The Mariners will return home for the Kolkata Derby against East Bengal next Saturday.