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Football

AFC Cup 2022: Key points from Gokulam FC vs ATK Mohun Bagan match

Gokulam Kerala FC claimed a 4-2 victory over ATK Mohun Bagan in their AFC Cup opener at Vivekananda Yuva Bharati Krirangan. While the whole ISL vs I-League encounter was an eventful one, we at The Bridge picked out some key points from the highly contested clash.

Gokulam Kerala beat ATK Mohun Bagan (Source: Gokulam Kerala/Twitter)
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Gokulam Kerala v/s ATK Mohun Bagan (Source: Gokulam Kerala/Twitter)

By

Triyasha Chatterjee

Updated: 2022-05-19T00:00:48+05:30

Gokulam Kerala FC claimed a 4-2 victory over ATK Mohun Bagan in their AFC Cup opener at Vivekananda Yuva Bharati Krirangan. Two goals and an assist from Luka Majcen orchestrated the whole win while I-League final hero Rishad and super sub-Jithin MS found a goal each. Pritam Kotal and Liston Colaco made it to the scoreboard for ATK Mohun Bagan but that was just a consolation. However, the Mariners faced a huge blow, when central defender Tiri had to be carried out of the field following an ACL tear and will be out for eight to nine months.

While the whole ISL vs I-League encounter was an eventful one, we at The Bridge picked out some key points from the highly contested clash.

Gokulam Kerala FC continue dominance

Gokulam Kerala FC maintained their momentum with an absolutely dominating 4-2 win against Indian Super League outfit ATK Mohun Bagan. Carrying their form from the I-League, where they defended their title with a statement 2-1 win against Mohammedan Sporting Club at the same venue in the ultimate encounter. Founded back only in 2017, Gokulam Kerala FC has been dominating the charts. With a proper ratio of Indian players to that of foreigners, the I-League Champions have a great combination of talent and experience in the team and their performance made a statement out of the fact that 'winning a game does not depend on the budget. '

ATK Mohun Bagan's lack of finishing upfront

ATK Mohun Bagan's wastefulness up front has been a major reason for their lacklustre performance this season and the woes continued in the AFC Cup as well. Lack of finishing from veterans like Roy Krishna and David Williams proved to be a costly affair for the team. Taking 23 shots, the Mariners could land only 6 on target. Missed chances from the ATKMB forwards in the first half, including Roy Krishna's wonder strike that deflected back hitting the inner post and Joni Kauko's strike that ended up at custodian Rakshit Sagar's hands, inflicted some big regrets on the players and the team. At the same time, the absence of Hugo Boumous was largely felt as the midfield lacked creativity, while Joni Kauko's attempts seemed quite incomplete.

Luka Majcen keeps up his piping hot form

Luka Majcen continued with his scoring form from the I-League. The foreigner was easily the best player of the night with two goals and an assist to his name. Luka Majcen combined Emil Benny and Jourdain Fletcher to keep Amrinder Singh active. While ATKMB central defender Tiri kept Majcen contained for quite some time, with the defender being stretchered off, Majcen found his ground and orchestrated the whole win. Coach Vincenzo Alberto Anese was all in praises of Luka Majcen in the post-match conference, where he deemed the forward to be good enough for any top-tiered ISL outfit.



Bouba Aminou impresses as GKFC defence remains stout:

Containing an attack of Liston Colaco, David Williams and Roy Krishna for 90 minutes was a mammoth job, which, however, the Gokulam Kerala FC defence did with ease. Bouba Aminou was easily the man behind making it look so swift. The central defender made some key clearances throughout the game in making sure the goal cushion is not decreased. The performance from the Indian contingent like Mohammad Uvais and youngster Alex Saji was pretty much in good coordination. Custodian Rakshit Dagar made some key saves in keeping his side in the game, as well.

Defensive woes of ATKMB exposed to bones

As Gokulam Kerala FC scored four goals past them, the defensive weaknesses of the Mariners were exposed to the core. With Tiri's departure and Sandesh Jhingan's unavailability, Juan Ferrando was left with few options in the defence. While Ashutosh Mehta seemed to be a probable name, however, the defender failed to make any impact for quite some time. Even when brought for Tiri against Gokulam Kerala, the Mariner was hardly a fit for the highly intense game. However, Deepak Tangri might be seen pairing up in the defence alongside Kotal and Prabir.

At the same time, ATKMB coach Juan Ferrando faced a lot of criticism for his substitutions, like bringing in Kiyan Nassiri for Lenny Rodriguez, who was playing as a defensive midfielder, weakening the defence in a highly pressing game.


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