Bengaluru FC’s relentless and late charge showed no signs of slowing down as Simon Grayson’s men beat ATK Mohun Bagan 2-1 at the Saltlake Stadium, to pick up their fifth win on the bounce and move back up into the play-off positions. Goals in the second half from Javi Hernandez (78′) and Roy Krishna (90+1′) – both former ATK Mohun Bagan players – got the job done for the Blues, who now play their last three games of the League season at home.
Simon Grayson made no changes to his eleven for the fourth game on the spin, while Aleksandar Jovanovic returned to the bench. The Australian’s return also marked the first time Bengaluru FC had their full allocation of foreign players available for a fixture in the Indian Super League this season.
The visitors dominated the opening exchanges of the game with more possession and with some good interplay. Bengaluru FC were happy to play on the counterattack and also had their share of attacking forays in the ATK Mohun Bagan half.
The first chance of the game fell to ATK Mohun Bagan, in the 19th minute, when Asish Rai’s shot from long range forced Gurpreet into making a sharp save low down to his left. The game suddenly came to life post the half hour mark with both sides going close to opening the scoring.
Simon Grayson’s side had their first big chance of the game in the 32nd minute when Sivasakthi was put through on goal by Roy Krishna. The youngster found himself one-on-one against Vishal Kaith, but the forward couldn’t get the ball past the Mariners’ goalkeeper.
Both teams went toe-to-toe with chances at either end but neither side could find the opener as it ended goalless at half-time.
Bengaluru FC started the second half well creating more chances testing the ATK Mohun Bagan defence. They also had a penalty claim waived off by the referee in the 55th minute, after Sivasakthi was brought down in the box by Subhasish Bose following a cross by Prabir Das.
The hosts slowly got back into the game and Federico Gallego had their first big chance in the 61st minute. But the Uruguayan skied his shot from near the edge of the box. The game continued to offer chances for both sides with Bengaluru FC going close with Alan Costa heading wide following a corner. Then it was Pritam Kotal who went close with a volleyed shot which went narrowly wide of Gurpreet’s right post.
Just when it seemed like the game could end towards a stalemate, Javi Hernandez opened the scoring in the 78th minute, much against the run of play. The Spaniard unleashed a well-timed volley past Vishal Kaith following a cross by Naorem Roshan Singh to give the Blues the lead.
Both teams went to their benches ATK Mohun Bagan came back hard after conceding the opener. Juan Ferrando brought on the changes bringing on Fardin Ali Molla and Kiyan Nassiri for Brendan Hamill and Glan Martins. Simon Grayson, meanwhile, brought on Pablo Perez, Bruno Ramires and Sunil Chhetri. As the game moved into added time, Bengaluru FC doubled their lead with Roy Krishna latching onto a missed clearance by Vishal Kaith following a cross by Prabir Das to nod home for the Blues.
ATK Mohun Bagan eventually halved the deficit with a late strike from Dimitri Petratos. The unmarked Australian unleashed a shot from 25-yards out which deflected off Alan Costa’s head going into the net with Gurpreet wrong-footed. The goal eventually proved to be a consolation as Bengaluru FC saw out the remaining minutes to notch up the win in their final away game in the 2022-23 season.
Bengaluru FC posted their first ever win over ATK Mohun Bagan in the ISL, and are now placed in sixth position with 25 points. The Blues will next face Kerala Blasters at the Kanteerava Stadium on Saturday, February 12.