ATK Mohun Bagan defeated Bengaluru FC 2-0 in match no. 61 of the Indian Super League (ISL) season 2021-22 at Fatorda in Goa.
It was a must-win game for ATK Mohun Bagan if they wanted to stay within reach of league winners Hyderabad FC and second-placed Jamshedpur FC. Any sort of drop-in points would have crushed their chances of winning the league shield this season.
Bengaluru FC needed the win to keep any sort of mathematical chances of making it to the playoffs alive.
The match started with the Mariners making some early attacking moves in search of an early goal. Bengaluru FC had a few chances of their own but failed to convert them.
ATK Mohun Bagan took the lead in the dying moments of the first half courtesy of a Liston Colaco freekick.
The scoreboard at halftime read 1-0 in favor of ATK Mohun Bagan.
Both ISL teams tried hard to score an early goal in the second half but failed to do so. Bengaluru FC had a few good opportunities but could not do anything substantial.
The Mariners waited for the right time to hit the Blues from Bangalore on the counter and did so in the 85th minute when Manvir Singh's shot found its way into the back of the net.
With this win, ATK Mohun Bagan have kept their hopes of winning the league shield alive while Bengaluru FC's chances of qualifying for the playoffs are over.
On that note, let's take a look at the four things we learned from today's game.
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#4 Bengaluru FC's hopes of qualifying for the playoffs are over
The Blues from Bangalore have played 19 games this season and have secured 26 points, winning seven games and losing seven while drawing the remaining five matches. They have one game left this season against SC East Bengal. The highest they can reach in terms of points this season is 29 if they win their last group match. However, this figure won't be enough to take them to the playoffs this season.
With Sunday's defeat against the Mariners, the playoff hopes for the Blues from Bangalore are over.
They have dropped points in their first nine out of ten games this season. This gave them a slow start to the league, which has hampered their overall ambitions this season.
They have also lost three of their last five games, which has hampered their comeback.
Marco Pezzaiuoli will hope he can get a better start next season, if he is in charge of the Blues from Bangalore.
#3 ATK Mohun Bagan stay in the race for the league shield
The Mariners have two games left this season against Chennaiyin FC and Jamshedpur FC. Jamshedpur FC have three games in hand against Odisha FC, Hyderabad FC and the Mariners. Table Toppers Hyderabad FC have two games left against Jamshedpur FC and Mumbai City FC.
If Hyderabad FC and Jamshedpur FC play out a draw in their game and both lose their remaining games while the Mariners win all their remaining games, they will be crowned as league winners and finish top of the ISL table.
It is a long ask, but it is possible, and the Mariners will hope the football gods favor their odds in the upcoming games.
#2 Bengaluru FC have suffered in defense this season
Bengaluru FC have conceded 27 goals this season, which is more than all the teams above them in the table. They have scored 31 goals in return.
The goal difference is a clear indication of where Bengaluru FC's issues have been this season.
The Blues defense has been shaky throughout the season, starting with the AFC Cup, and it is something Marco Pezzaiuoli hasn't been able to rectify appropriately throughout the season.
Bengaluru FC started today with Roshan Singh, Alan Costa, Paras Shrivas, and Ashique Kuruniyan on defense. However, the quadrant could not deal with ATK Mohun Bagan's attackers and failed to keep their shape for an extended part of the game.
# 1 ATK Mohun Bagan shine without Roy Krishna and David Williams
ATK Mohun Bagan missed Roy Krishna today as he was suspended for the game today due to a red card he saw in the previous game. David Williams was ruled out for the tie due to an injury, and the Mariners relied on their Indian brigade for the goals.
Liston Colaco and Manvir Singh didn't allow the Mariners to miss their leading striking pair today.
Liston Colaco has been in superb form this season, scoring eight goals and getting three assists. Manvir Singh has six goals and an assist this season. The duo have helped ATK Mohun Bagan get past difficult opponents when they have missed their central striking pair.
The Mariners will hope the duo keep up their performance without their star players.tar players.tar players.tar players.tar players.tar players.