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Hero of the League to AFC Cup: Highlights from ATKMB’S Debut Season

ATK Mohun Bagan had a memorable debut season in the Hero Indian Super League (ISL). Even though they fell short of the Hero ISL Shield and the trophy to their nemesis Mumbai City FC, there were plenty of positives to take from their debut season whether it was the Hero of the League Award to Roy Krishna or the Golden Glove Award for Arindam Bhattacharja

Let’s look at the top six moments from the Mariners’ debut Indian Super League season. 

 

HERO OF THE LEAGUE – ROY KRISHNA

Roy Krishna was by far the most influential player in the league this season. He always stepped up when his team needed him the most and led his side to the all-important final. He netted 14 times in the league this season and was rightly awarded the Hero of the League Award. 

 

GOLDEN GLOVE WINNER – ARINDAM BHATTACHARJA

Arindam Bhattacharja was one of the most consistent keepers in the league this season. He helped his side keep 10 clean sheets in the season and conceded a goal every 108.95 minutes which is outstanding for any goalkeeper. He was way ahead of the others in the minute per goals conceded and won the rightful winner of the Golden Glove Award. 

 

BEST DEFENCE IN THE LEAGUE

The combination of Sandesh Jhingan, Tiri, Pritam Kotal, Subhashish Bose, Prabir Das and Sumit Rathi was the standout defensive combination in the league this year. Antonio Lopez Habas always improves the defensive standards of any team he takes charge of and the same happened in this season as well. The centre back partnership of Jhingan and Tiri is as good as it gets and it showed throughout the season. 

 

AFC CUP SPOT

By virtue of their second-place finish in the league stage, ATK Mohun Bagan sealed a place in the AFC Cup for 2022. The team had already qualified for this year’s AFC Cup and now will compete yet again in the cup competition next year as well.

 

THE ONLY TEAM TO TINKER THEIR PLAY STYLE

Sandesh Jhingan in an interview recently said that if you analyse the play of ATK Mohun Bagan throughout the course of the season, you’d notice the different play style adopted by the Mariners. That statement is true one hundred per cent. ATK Mohun Bagan was the only team to deploy a high pressing system, a low block, possession-based football and counter-attacking football depending on the opposition they were up against. The team was malleable in the way Habas wanted to set them up and were willing to adapt within games as well. Before a match, nobody was sure whether we’ll see a three at the back or four at the back and this constant changing of systems kept us all entertained. 

 

BRAGGING RIGHTS FROM THE KOLKATA DERBY

The cherry on the top for the Mariners was the double over their arch local rivals SC East Bengal in the oldest rivalry in Indian football history. The Mariners were far better than their local rivals on both occasions and won both the derbies comfortably. 

 

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