ATK Mohun Bagan’s Durand Cup journey ends
ATK Mohun Bagan followed arch-rivals Emami East Bengal to the exit door of the Indian Oil Durand Cup on Monday. In a Group C match at the Kishore Bharati Stadium, I-League club Rajasthan United FC (RUFC) defeated Indian Navy 2-0 which meant that Juan Ferrando’s men will not be in the knock-outs.
When the groupings for the Durand Cup were announced, very few had thought that Rajasthan would create such a ripple in Asia’s oldest tournament. But a 3-2 victory over ATK Mohun Bagan in their first match and then a draw against East Bengal set them up for a place in the quarters. And on Monday, second-half strikes from Youssef Atriss and Sergio Barboza Junior gave Rajasthan United the second spot in the group with seven points.
They will meet Hyderabad FC on September 12 at the Kishore Bharati Stadium. Mumbai City, also on seven points, topped the group since they have a better headto-head record against Rajasthan. ATK Mohun Bagan, who also finished with seven points, bowed out by virtue of losing to Rajasthan United on August 20. In the second half, Rajasthan attacked the Navy box relentlessly. Every move looked like a goal-scoring opportunity.
Substitutes Barboza and 17-year-old Gyamar Nikum added more teeth to the Rajasthan attack. But an exemplary performance under the bar by the Navy captain and goalkeeper V.K Vishnu denied Rajasthan. RUFC broke the deadlock in the 73rd minute through Youssef Attris. The second came in the 89th minute. A Nikum through ball and Barboza finished in style to ruin Bagan’s chances. In Imphal, Chennaiyin FC became the last team to qualify, defeating Neroca FC 2-0 in a Group C match.