Last Updated: 28th Nov, 2020 1:07PM

SC East Bengal began their ISL campaign on a disappointing note as they lost 0-2 to ATK Mohun Bagan at the Tilak Maidan Stadium in Vasco. This was also ISL’s first Kolkata Derby as head coach Antonio Lopez Habas etched his name in the history books.

The first half of the game wasn’t devoid of goalmouth actions but both ATK Mohun Bagan and SC East Bengal failed to find the back of the net. As the teams changed sides, Roy Krishna scored the first goal of the match after latching on to a pass from Javi Hernandez to give his side the lead.

SC East Bengal tried hard to find the equalizer, but Manvir Singh made a beautiful solo run through the right wing to round up his markers and score a goal with his weaker foot in the final ten minutes.

Here are 4 things we learnt from the first Kolkata Derby of the Indian Super League.


1. Red hot form of Roy Krishna continues

Roy Krishna celebrates after scoring the first goal in ISL
Roy Krishna celebrates after scoring the first goal in ISL’s Kolkata Derby (Courtesy: ISL)

Roy Krishna found the back of the net once again as he took his scoring tally to two from two matches in the current season of ISL. The Fiji international once again capitalized on the defense’s lapse of concentration as East Bengal goalkeeper Debjit couldn’t save his venomous low shot from outside the box.

Despite five defenders in front of him, he found enough space to angle his shot from the left foot and give Mohun Bagan the lead. Krishna bagged 15 goals and 6 assists last season for ATK. It looks as if he would have a similar run in this edition of ISL as well.

2. ATK Mohun Bagan direct their attacks through the right flank

In the absence of Michael Soosairaj, ATK Mohun Bagan directed most of their attacks through the right flank as his replacement Subhasish Bose is more of a defensive wing-back than an attacking one.

ATK Mohun Bagan’s both goals also came by exploiting East Bengal’s left wing. Jayesh Rane drove the ball forward and passed the ball to Javi in the right side of the pitch. The Spaniard laid the ball to Krishna, who netted the ball in.

Narayan Das committed early in his challenge against Manvir Singh and the ATK Mohun Bagan substitute player dashed forty yards unmarked before cutting inside the box and scoring with his weaker foot.

3. SC East Bengal lack a dedicated striker

The referee shows yellow card to SC East Bengal striker Balwant Singh (Courtesy: ISL)
The referee shows yellow card to SC East Bengal striker Balwant Singh (Courtesy: ISL)

Managing to gain entry into the ISL at the last minute, questions were raised on SC East Bengal’s Indian contingent. Although the team managed to give a good show in the midfield,

they didn’t have a quality striker upfront to convert the limited opportunities.

Jacques Moghoma dropped deep and operated more as a midfielder than a striker. Anthony Pilkington was presented with a beautiful opportunity in the 7th minute of the game but he slipped inside the box from a one-on-one position.

Balwant too missed a chance to take give SC East Bengal the lead in the 38th minute as he got his connection wrong.

ATK Mohun Bagan have one of the best defensive setups in this edition of ISL. Breaching it from open play would certainly need more quality than what East Bengal have at their disposal currently.

4 Habas’ plan to let the opponent keep the ball works again

Antonio Lopez Habas guided ATK to ISL trophy last season with his scintillating counter-attacking brand of football. The opponent saw more spells of the ball but failed to score goals.

Credit should be given to ATK Mohun Bagan’s defensive midfielders for blocking the channels. Carl McHugh barely put his foot wrong and was awarded the Hero of the Match award for his work rate.

SC East Bengal made more than twice the number of passes and had 59% of possession. But they created the same number of chances (8) as that of ATK Mohun Bagan.