Goals from Liston Colaco and Manvir Singh helped ATK Mohun Bagan beat Bengaluru FC in Fatorda on Sunday night. The pair scored towards the end of each half, ending the Blues’ quest for a top-four finish.
Bengaluru are out of the top-four race; the Blues suffered a gut-wrenching 2-0 defeat to ATKMB on Sunday night in Fatorda, extinguishing any remaining hopes of securing a playoff berth. Liston Colaco and Manvir Singh scored for the Mariners, even if Bengaluru were the more dominant of the two sides in terms of possession and shots on goal. ATK, meanwhile, boosted their hopes of a semi-final spot while staying within touching distance of league leaders Hyderabad in a bid to lift the League Winners Shield.
Both teams started strongly, as Manvir went close at one end and Prince Ibara the other. However, while the two sides displayed patience and invention in the build-up, they lacked the final ball and finish, leading to several attacks at either end dissolving into nothing. It took a moment of magic, then, to break the deadlock; having won a free-kick 25 yards away from goal himself, Colaco converted the set-piece with excellent precision and power, leaving Bengaluru custodian Lara Sharma grasping at thin air.
Colaco and Manvir caused Bengaluru plenty of trouble all through the night, but, especially during a short period after the restart, the pair seemed unplayable. Fifty-four minutes in, Manvir found himself with a decision to make: a two-on-one situation had developed with Colaco waiting for the ball on the other side of the box, but, caught in two minds, the attacker allowed Alan Costa a timely intervention.
Colaco, himself spurned a gilt-edged opportunity moments later as, having found space behind the Bengaluru backline, he rattled the post from close range. In the very next attack, the Mariners’ two main attacking outlets again looked to combine to deadly effect, only to be denied a second goal by a last-gasp, sliding clearance from Naorem Roshan Singh.
The second goal did arrive in the 85th minute, courtesy of a defensive error from Bengaluru’s Rohit Kumar, whose poor back pass Manvir latched onto before he beat Lara from distance. Rohit tried to make amends at the other end, but his snapshot was saved by Amrinder Singh, and the referee blew his final whistle soon after.
Bengaluru are out, then, but ATK Mohun Bagan find themselves very much in the thick of things. At present, the Mariners are stuck in limbo, from where they can win the Shield or fall out of the top four. Chennaiyin are up next for the Kolkata-based outfit before they face Jamshedpur in their final league game of the season.