Liston Colaco's hat-trick propels ATK Mohun Bagan to a comfortable victory over Bashundhara Kings in the AFC Cup 2022.

ATK Mohun Bagan trounced Bangladesh giants Bashundhara Kings in the second round of the AFC Cup 2022 group stage games at the Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan Stadium on Saturday, thanks to a hat-trick from Liston Colaco.

The Mariners entered the contest fresh off a humiliating 2-4 loss to Gokulam Kerala FC in the tournament’s opening round. Juan Ferrando’s guys were stunned, but they knew they needed to respond to keep their qualification hopes alive. Bashundhara, on the other hand, won 1-0 against Maziya FC in their previous match.

The game began slowly, but within the first ten minutes, it was called off owing to severe weather conditions in West Bengal, and the game was delayed for about an hour. When the game resumed, however, there was just one storm in the stadium: the Liston Colaco storm.

Bishwanath Ghosh, a Bashundhara centre-back, absolutely mishandled possession in his box shortly after the restart in an attempt to clear the ball. Colaco was the one who reclaimed the ball inside the box first. In the 25th minute, the 23-year-old slid the ball past the Bashundhara goalkeeper.

Colaco extended the Mariners’ lead for the second time in nine minutes. Joni Kauko’s inch-perfect ball sent the youthful winger through on goal. In the 2021-22 ISL season, the top Indian scorer went around goalie Ansiur Rahman and sent the ball into an open net.

In the first half, Bangladesh produced very little attacking output. In the 21st minute, Rimon Hossain came closest to scoring for Bashundhara when his shot from beyond the area was parried by ATKMB goalkeeper Arsh Shaikh.

Even the skies parted to see Liston Colaco’s enchantment.
Bashundhara Kings appeared to be on the attack in the second half, with Yeasin Arafat’s early strike troubling the ATK Mohun Bagan goalkeeper. Minutes later, Liston Colaco raced past the Bashundhara defence to put an end to any hopes of a comeback.

In the 53rd minute, the Goa-born winger punished the Bangladeshi club for some careless defending by tucking home his third goal of the night after a low cross from Manvir Singh.

The visitors became desperate, and men were pushed forward. However, in the 77th minute, replacement David Williams scored their fourth goal of the night, making their night even worse.

ATK Mohun Bagan will play Maziya in a crucial match on Tuesday. In the meantime, Bashundhara will face table-toppers Gokulam Kerala next. With the win, both ATK Mohun Bagan and Bashundhara would have three points from two matches going into the final matchday.

Men were pushed forward as the visitors became desperate. However, substitute David Williams scored their fourth goal of the night in the 77th minute, making their night even worse.

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