ATK Mohun Bagan missed a plethora of chances as their galaxy of stars were humbled by a resilient Rajasthan United 3-2 at the Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan in the Durand Cup on Saturday.
ATK Mohun Bagan were dominating from the word go but it was Rajasthan who walked away the victors.
Florentin Pogba put the ball in the back of the net in the 3rd minute itself, but the goal was ruled out due to off-side. He had got the ball at the edge of the six-yard box from a Liston Colaco free-kick from the left flank.
At the fifth-minute mark, ATKMB got another chance but the pass across the face of the goal did not find a willing runner to finish.
Liston missed another golden opportunity to take the lead, in the 11th minute, after he was put in behind with a defence-splitting pass but pulled his shot wide.
Kiyam Nassiri tried his luck with an outrageous scorpion kick after Hugo Boumous’ cross was a tad bit behind him. But his effort was far too tame to trouble the Rajasthan United keeper.
After many missed chances and close calls, Kiyam was brought down in a dangerous position at the 30th-minute mark. Liston’s curled free-kick looked destined for the top right but the keeper made the save to keep the scores level. Four minutes later, Liston was again in the thick of things as his one-two with Hugo led him clear of the defence but his shot again was pulled harmlessly wide.
As the half looked like it was drawing slowly and painfully to a close for the Mariners, patient build-up from the back led to a lighting move to Ashique Kurunian down the left flank who squared it for Kiyam to finally put it in the back of the net in the 43rd minute.
It was a rude awakening for Rajasthan, as ATK Mohun Bagan took time to clear the ball from the six-yard box as William Neihsial’s cutback found Bektur Amageldiev ahead of Pogba to tap it home and bring parity to the scoreline.
After the restart, it took barely seconds for ATK Mohun Bagan to take the lead as Ashique was brought down on the left flank. Hugo took to the free-kick short to find Ashique, who slotted it into the back of the net with a sublime left-footed finish.
ATK Mohun Bagan pressed hard and up the pitch to force Rajasthan United to make mistakes and they did, as a good save from the keeper stopped another strike from Kiyam from going into the back of the net.
Lalremsanga equalised for Rajasthan in the 61st minute as his towering header landed at the foot of Youseff Atriss, whose shot was saved by the keeper only for the ball to land to Lalremsanga again, who smashed it into the back of the net.
Vinit Rai came on and started his marauding runs down the right, and had a golden chance to get his side back in the lead after combining brilliantly with Kiyam.
Then again in the 76th minute, Manvir skied his shot after being one-on-one with the keeper having been played in behind by Joni Kauko. In the 82nd minute, Kiyam’s shot rattled the crossbar from another Kauko through ball.
Manvir missed again after a cut back from the right with just the keeper to beat.
William Pauliankhumh seemingly scored the winner for Rajasthan in the 90th minute after confusion in the back for ATK Mohun Bagan but the off-side call saved the day for the home fans.
In added time, as Gyamar Nikum scored after stealing the ball from Carl McHugh in the middle of the park to break the handful of hearts in the stands.