Atletico de Kolkata arguably put in their best display of the Indian Super League so far to beat Mumbai City FC 3-2 at Kolkata on Saturday.
All the goals in the game were scored in an enthralling first-half. ATK took the lead through Lalrindika Ralte but Mumbai hit back through Leo Costa’s effort.
Though Mumbai took the lead through Gerson Vieria’s header, Iain Hume’s quickfire double helped Jose Molina’s side prevail in the contest. Mumbai’s marquee player Diego Forlan, who set up both the goals for his side, was send off late in the second half.
For the first time in the competition, the Rabindra Sarobar Stadium was in full volume and the decibel levels hit the roof when Ralte’s freak goal opened the scoring, just three minutes into the game. Borja Fernandez’s strongly-hit cross smashed the head of the Kolkata midfielder and the ball looped over Mumbai keeper Amrinder Singh.
With attacks already flowing from one end to the other, there were clear signs that the away side would get back in the contest – Leo Costa smashed the ball into the net after 10 minutes after a Forlan free kick was headed into his path by Sunil Chhetri.
After 19 minutes, Mumbai took the lead and yet again, it was Forlan who made things happen for the table toppers. The Uruguayan’s pin-point free kick was headed home by Vieria.
For the first time in the tournament, Mumbai were unsettled at the back and Sena Ralte in particular, was having a torrid evening. ATK targeted the right flank and were rewarded with the equaliser six minutes from half-time. Sameehg Doutie’s brilliant cut-back flick was smashed into the net by Hume, with the Mumbai defence in tatters.
Minutes later, things turned from bad to worse for Alexandre Guimares’s side as they conceded a penalty. Ralte could have easily got a second yellow too. Hume made no mistake from the spot.
The breakneck tempo with which the game was played in the first half was missing after the interval, and it was ATK who enjoyed this phase. The inaugural winners were given too much time and space on the ball between the defense and midfield line, and Javi Lara didn’t feature till the 80th minute of the game.
Hume could have doubled his side’s advantage had he angled his far-post header on target. The Canadian striker squandered a chance in the final stages too. Mumbai’s chances of getting back in the game received a severe dent with Forlan getting a second yellow rather recklessly. The consequences of the sending off may well prove to be the difference at the end of the two legs between the sides.
Atletico de Kolkata 3 (Lalrindika Ralte, Iain Hume x 2) beat Mumbai City 2 (Leo Costa, Gerson Vieria)