ATK Mohun Bagan starts off with a victory against NorthEast United under new coach Juan Ferrando after the Kolkata side registered a thrilling 3-2 win in the Indian Super League game at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium here on Tuesday.
Ferrando jumped ship from FC Goa to Mohun Bagan after the Mariners let go of Antonio Lopez Habas in a dramatic turn of events over the last week.
During the match, Ferrando looked unfazed by the noise around him and went about his job but was rocked early on as VP Suhair gave NorhEast United the lead in the 2nd minute.
Hugo Boumous (53rd, 76th) scored a brace after Liston Colaco (45th) equalised for Bagan but Mashoor Shereef (87th) got the Highlanders in the game late on. In the end, the Kolkata side held firm and recorded their first win in four matches.
Mohun Bagan now have 11 points from seven games. NorthEast United remain in the ninth spot with seven points from eight matches.
Stung by the early setback, Mohun Bagan upped the ante and should have pulled level but for Manvir Singh who fired over the bar from inside the box.
Roy Krishna had a couple of half-chances thereafter but good reflexes from Mirshad Michu in the NorthEast goal and Krishna's inefficiency keep the ball in target kept the score to 1-0.
For the Highlanders, seasoned defender Gurjinder Kumar got injured in the 26th minute and had to be replaced by Tondonba Singh. Colaco forced Michu into action with a fierce effort from an angle inside the box but the keeper did well to avert the danger.
At the other end, Amrinder Singh pulled off a great save to keep Rochharzela's long-range attempt at bay. Colaco then burst through into the penalty box but his take from an acute angle was well saved again by Michu.
The rebound was blocked brilliantly by Khassa Camara off Hugo Boumous. Just when it looked like NorthEast would go into the break with a 1-0 lead, Michu scuffed a goal kick and the ball fell to Krishna who swung in a delightful cross for Colaco to head into the far corner.
After the halftime breather, Mohun Bagan decided to go up a gear and Boumous made it 2-1 soon after the restart to underline their intent.
NorthEast United failed to clear their lines for too long, leading to Subhasish Bose cutting the ball back from the left byline for Boumous to outfox the defender with a lovely piece of skill and tap home.
Inputs from IANS.