His 67th-minute strike gives the Kolkata side full points against Kerala Blasters
Roy Krishna was a clinical finisher and the joint top-scorer of the Indian Super League with 15 goals last season.
On Friday night, he looked a different player early as he wasted three good chances.
But the 33-year-old from Fiji had the last laugh, scoring the match-winner shortly after the hour-mark, as ATK Mohun Bagan defeated Kerala Blasters 1-0 in the ISL opener at the GMC Stadium in Bambolim.
Krishna, who had shot over the bar once and was denied by a fine slide by the Blasters defender Costa Nhamoinesu in the first half, produced the one moment of magic that sealed the tie in the Kolkata outfit’s favour.
Manvir Singh, playing on the left, appeared to be searching for the Fijian and when he spotted him just outside the box, he sent a cross in.
Krishna raced into the box and slotted the ball into the bottom corner with a cool finish, giving goalkeeper Albino Gomes no chance.
Blasters, who finished seventh last season, had superior ball possession in the opening half but could not create enough opportunities.
The Kerala team’s star striker Gary Hooper failed to connect a header properly from close range in the 37th minute. Shortly after the break, young Sahal Samad missed a golden chance.
He was well placed as he met a Jessel Carneiro cross from the left but messed up the finish.
Hit by the global pandemic, the teams had short pre-seasons this time and it showed early in the second half as the game slowed down.
Both sides struggled to keep the ball, but ATKMB edged the contest to start its campaign with on the right note.
The result: Kerala Blasters 0 lost to ATK Mohun Bagan 1 (Roy Krishna 67).