News Karnataka
Thursday, September 21 2023
World at Feet

ATK Mohun Bagan pen history amid penalties mela

world at feet
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The Indian Super League has been making some noise all this while, which witnessed a drama filled with penalties at the finale. It wouldn’t be wrong to say that the ATK Mohun Bagan has penned an incredible history by claiming the first-ever Hero ISL Trophy to their nameplate. The title was named after them after clinching a nerve-wracking 4-3 victory on penalties against Bengaluru FC (BFC) at the PJN Stadium in Fatorda on Saturday.

The man who pierced through the goalposts without any margin for error was Dimitrios Petratos who scored, in fact, the winning goals for the ATKMB. The road was not easy for ATKMB, as the Bengaluru boys gave a stunning competition, making it a perfect final battle for the title. As usual Sunil Chetri contributed his goals to the team.

Undoubtedly both teams displayed positive attacking football in the opening minutes of the first half, especially through the flanks. The full-backs and wingers of both teams tried to exploit the spaces behind the defence, with early runs. As the game was in full-spirited form for the title, the ATKMB lead with a penalty, which was later levelled at the extra time before halftime by the Indian football icon, Chetri.

Mariners started the second from 1-1 on the front foot. The Petratos-Boumous combination proved difficult for the Bengaluru defence, but they held on to not concede early in the second 45. The tempo dropped for a while as both teams resorted to long balls, trying to catch out the opponent’s defence.

But in the 78th minute, a twist in the game occurs as Krishna scored from a BFC corner. Roshan Singh’s delivery was flicked to the far post by a Bruno Ramires header, and Krishna showed his poaching skills by being there in the right place at the right time and jumping tall and high to head the ball inside the net.

The commentary box and the entire football world thought that the 2023 Hero ISL title is named after Krishna to Bengaluru. But the story was another way. In the 83rd minute, the opponents were back in the game after Kiyan was fouled inside the box by Pablo Perez. The referee pointed to the spot, and ATKMB got its second penalty of the match.

Petratos could hardly make any mistake and chose the same direction and place to challenge Gurpreet. The penalty was taken and the more than 6 feet tall Bengaluru goalkeeper could not beat the perfection of Petratos.
There were a number of chances as Rohit Kumar, Krishna and Manvir came close to scoring over the two periods of extra time but could not take their chances. The best chance came for Petratos in the 119th minute. His shot swung wickedly mid-air and slipped from Gurpreet’s grasp. Time froze for the BFC keeper after losing the ball as he watched it roll inches past the net and out for a corner. The score remained 2-2 when the extra time too was exhausted. The alternative, the world knows would end up in shootouts.

In the shootout, both teams scored their first two penalties. Alan Costa and Krishna found the net for BFC, while Petratos and Colaco were on target for ATKMB. The turning point came when Kaith saved Ramires’ penalty. The pressure was on Kiyan to score the next for the lead, but the youngster kept his nerve to find the net. Chhetri and Manvir converted their respective penalties for BFC and ATKMB to continue the shootout. Perez, who was next, had to score to keep his team in the equation but blasted his effort above the bar, leading to a 4-3 win for the Mariners. Perhaps a Bengaluru regretted the loss but the fight that they showcased was worth more than a victory. The Indian football fans and players only could be happy that ISL is nurturing the young football talents of the country

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Roshan H. Raj

The author is the Vice Principal at Spearhead Academy and has Postgraduation in Communication and Journalism from Kannur University. He is a passionate journalist, debater and an orator. As a resource person he has conducted workshops and seminars on communication in Schools and Colleges of Karnataka and Kerala.

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