July 29, 2021

Profligacy stop FC Goa from punishing mundane ATK Mohun Bagan

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The Mariners continued to play their tedious style of football as the Gaurs failed to get three points despite dominance…

After a top performance in the midweek against Jamshedpur FC where they took control of the game from the kick-off, FC Goa once again left it for a late intervention, this time once again by Ishan Pandita to pick a point against ATK Mohun Bagan.

Before the Jamshedpur tie, the Gaurs had made it a habit of being forced to throw the kitchen sink at the opposition towards the end of games. They seemed to have put that issue behind them against Jamshedpur where they scored early and maintained control of the games. But the issue cropped up again on Sunday.

Against ATK Mohun Bagan, the Gaurs had played 488 passes out of which they successfully completed 354 passes. They had 63 per cent ball possession and took 19 shots on goal out of which eight were on target. Granted that on two occasions, the goal post and the crossbar came in between but they still could have killed the game long back.

Ferrando decided to keep the winning combination as it is and hence kept star forward Igor Angulo on the bench. Jorge Ortiz, who had a terrific outing as a number 9 against Jamshedpur, could not replicate that performance against the Mariners.

Ortiz, as usual, was extremely hard working and was often seen tracking back to create chances but was equally wasteful in front of the goal. On three occasions he came close to scoring but eventually failed to bury the chances which a clinical finisher like Angulo might have done better with.

Alberto Noguera, involved in two of their three goals scored against Jamshedpur, was kept silent for the majority of the game by ATK Mohun Bagan’s Carl McHugh. The Irish midfielder once again showed how important he is to Antonio Habas’ side as FC Goa could hardly make any effective move down the middle.

The Mariners started the match on a brighter note. Habas switched back to his familiar 3-5-2 formation with Prabir Das starting as a right wing-back. But their enterprising start soon faded and they withdrew into their shell in defence after the first 20 minutes.

Attack wise this was ATK Mohun Bagan’s worst performance this season as the team managed to play just 221 passes in 90 minutes and completed only 114 passes! Except for Subhasish Bose’s header in the first half which hit the crossbar and came back, the Kolkata side did not have any major goal-scoring chances.

The Green and Maroons need a major overhaul in their style of play if they still dream of topping the league and getting the AFC Champions League slot this season. The approach must change and Habas should consider utilising the attacking prowess of his side.