Liston Kolako’s hat-trick helps ATK Mohun Bagan beat Basundhara Kings

ATK Mohan Baga recorded their first win of the AFC Cup 2022 in their second Group D match at the Salt Lake Stadium on Saturday with a 4-0 win over Bangladesh team Basundhara Kings.

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The Indian Super League (ISL) club lost its opener against Gokulam Kerala last week.

On Saturday, the game was temporarily halted in the first half due to heavy rain in Kolkata, after which the Mariners ran a show to keep the comfortable winners out of the competition and keep their hopes of entering the next round alive.

Liston Kolako’s hat-trick (24 ′, 33 ′, 53 ′) sealed the victory before David Williams’ strike (77 ′) sealed the victory.

Carl McHugh and Sandesh Zingan were included in the starting XI by Juan Ferrando as Arsh Sheikh scored in place of Amarinder Singh for the Kolkata based team. ATK Mohan Bagan started the game on the front foot but his positive start was lessened due to heavy rain. The game had to be stopped after the 10-minute mark.

After the game resumed after a short interval the Mariners took some time to move forward and had to thank Sheikh for keeping them level as he saved a finger tervay to deny opener Basundhara Kings in the 20th minute.

Four minutes later, Kolako took advantage of a loss in Vishwanath Ghosh’s concentration, leaving Basundhara Kings’ goalkeeper nicely behind and ATK leading Mohan Bagan.

The goal stabilized the nerves of the Mariners who took control of the proceedings. In the 33rd minute, ATK doubled their lead to Mohan Baga, and once again it was Kolako who got the back of the net after a goal by Cuckoo.

Ferrando’s men were mostly on the front foot in the first half but could not extend their two-goal lead at intervals. Basundhara Kings were penalized for another costly error in the 53rd minute when Manveer Singh set up Kolako for his hat-trick which made it 3-0.

Ferrando caught David Williams and Ravi Rana in the 70th minute of the match and seven minutes later Williams added the fourth goal for ATK Mohun Bagan. The Mariners had more chances to add to their goal tally but they could not maintain their composure against the goal. Williams tried to curl one in stoppage time but his attempt went to the post.

The referee blew full-time to signal victory for ATK Mohun Bagan who has now given himself a chance to advance to the next round.

The Mariners will now face Mazia S&RC in their final group match on Tuesday. However, the future of their qualification depends on the results of Gokulam Kerala who can secure the qualification by winning their remaining two matches.

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