Lenny Rodrigues was the headline signing in the January transfer window as the Goan decided to join the Mariners on deadline day till the end of the season. Antonio Lopez Habas handed him his first start in the match against bottom-placed Odisha FC, and it was a dream debut for the Indian national.
A brace by Manvir Singh and Roy Krishna ensured that ATK Mohun Bagan closed the gap on the league leaders Mumbai City FC and made it back-to-back wins for the first time in the calendar year. Here’s how the top Mariners fared in the 1-4 win over Odisha FC.
MANVIR SINGH – 9.5/10
Manvir Singh is predicted to be the ideal replacement when the great Sunil Chhetri will call it a day on his international career. He wasn’t getting plenty of opportunities at his previous club FC Goa so a move to the Mariners came at the best time for the lanky forward.
So far in the season, he has impressed whenever he got an opportunity to come off the bench but whenever he was handed the start by Habas, he failed to deliver. This was one of the matches where we saw exactly what Manvir is capable of. The finish for the first goal was straight from the textbook of finishing. The second goal was from his weaker right foot and was hit with a lot of venom to induce an error from the keeper. For his brace, he was rightly awarded as the Hero of the Match Award.
ROY KRISHNA – 9.5/10
This match saw Roy Krishna at his very best. The Fijian forward was at the peak of his abilities and caused all sorts of problems to the opposition centre backs. He was all over the Odisha defence in the final third and netted twice himself. Along with his two goals he set the other two up for Manvir and that helped the team give a complete performance.
LENNY RODRIGUES – 8.5/10
Lenny Rodrigues has been impressive in the past few seasons with FC Goa. So when his move to ATK Mohun Bagan was announced, there was plenty of excitement around this transfer. In the match against Odisha, Lenny showed exactly why this was the case. He was the key man in the midfield and created some decent chances as well. He is an engine in the midfield and is good at build-up play as well. As time goes, he can chip in with some important goals as well and Habas would be delighted to work with someone of Lenny Rodrigues’ abilities.
SANDESH JHINGAN – 8/10
The rock at the back, Sandesh Jhingan is consistently putting on some solid performances this season. His partnership with Tiri is probably the best in the league and is helping the team concede fewer goals at the back. He is good with set-pieces at either end of the pitch and in this game, his aerial ability was required to clinch all three points for the Mariners.
PRONAY HALDER – 8/10
Very rarely does Pronay Halder get the plaudits but this game showed exactly what the midfielder is capable of. His partnership in the middle of the park with Lenny Rodrigues was outstanding and they were able to break the play of Odisha on multiple occasions. He was also credited with an assist as he induced a handball from the Odisha defender in the box which got ATK Mohun Bagan a penalty.
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