On Tuesday, ATK Mohun Bagan blanked Sri Lankan Super League winners Blue Star SC 5-0 at the Salt Lake Stadium in Kolkata in the second round of the AFC Cup 2022 preliminary stage. ATK Mohun Bagan qualified for the playoffs thanks to goals from Joni Kauko (24', 39') and Manvir Singh (29', 89').
ATK will face Abahani Limited Dhaka on April 19 for a spot in the AFC Cup 2022 main phase. The Indian Super League (ISL) team led by Juan Ferrando started without crucial defender Sandesh Jhingan and regular goalie Amrinder Singh. Roy Krishna, a Fijian forward, did not participate since he had returned home due to a death in his family.
ATK Mohun Bagan, on the other hand, preserved a clean slate in their first encounter at the legendary home stadium after the merger, thanks to debutant Arsh Anwar. They adjusted immediately into the game and maintained possession of the ball right away. In the first 15 minutes, though, many chances went begging as David Williams and Kiyan Nassiri failed to convert chances into goals.
Blue Star SC, on the other hand, came close to taking the lead via forward Prince Boadu, who scored following a threatening move down the right side. Arsh Anwar, on the other hand, made a save to preserve the scoreline unaffected.
ATK Mohun Bagan eventually broke the stalemate in the 24th minute when Joni Kauko, a Finnish striker, scored following Hugo Boumous' stunning right-wing cross. The score put the game out of reach for the visitors, and the inexperienced Blue Star SC side struggled to produce good chances after that.
Manvir Singh extended the Mariners' advantage five minutes later after grabbing an aerial ball versus the Blue Star goalie Kaveesh. The Indian international forward made a fast move inside the box and maintained his composure to finish a simple opportunity.
ATK Mohun Bagan led by three goals at halftime and controlled 70 percent of the possession.
After the interval, the visitors came charging at the ATK Mohun Bagan defence, but were thwarted by Arsh Anwar's excellent goalkeeping. In the second half, both teams had about equal opportunities, but David Williams made it 4-0 in the 77th minute after collecting a low cross from the middle.
With two minutes remaining, a pinpoint ball from Boumous found Manvir Singh, who had only one Blue Star SC defender to beat for his brace, capping off a dominant display by the home side.