Mumbai City FC beat Atletico de Kolkata by 1-0
Atletico de Kolkata’s unbeaten streak was pruned by Mumbai City FC who rode on Diego Forlan’s 79th minute strike to bounce back from their disappointing defeat against FC Goa.
Mumbai City FC who suffered a shock defeat against FC Goa had a clutch of changes on their end too with Anwar Ali, Sehnaj Singh, Cafu, Gerson and Albino Gomes coming into the side. Influential striker Matias Defederico, Pronay Haldar and Leo Costa were all missing due to injuries.
With Thierry Henry in attendance in a packed Rabindra Sarobar Stadium, it was the away side that carved open the Kolkata defense in the eighth minute. Breaking off a corner kick, Cafu and Diego Forlan combined effortlessly outside the box before Sony Norde was played in down the left. Tha Haitian chested the ball expertly but his left footed effort missed the goal by a couple of inches.
Merely five minutes later, slack defending from Prabir Das allowed Cafu and Forlan to combine yet again but the Uruguayan’s shot was wide.
With Cafu and Forlan controlling the match to a large extent, Atletico were left frustrated with their usual outlet Sameehg Doutie kept well in check by the young Sena Ralte.
In the 25th minute, Javi Lara was awarded a freekick from about 25 yards but he failed to clear the wall on his first attempt. On the rebound though, he had a second pop at goal but it was only inches wide off target.
In the 33rd minute, Sena Ralte did ever so well to go on an overlapping run with Prabir out of position and sent in a searching ball into the box which Robert could only clear to Norde who was lurking just inside the box. His scorching effort though was tipped over by Debjit Majumder in goal.
With the match winding down to a goal less stalemate in the first half Hume had snuck into the box and was almost at the end of a Ruidas cross but Goian continued to be solid at the back as he thwarted the Canadian before he could get to it.
Atletico looked more purposeful after the lemon break with Molina bringing on youngster Bidyananda Singh in place of Abinash Ruidas. Singh immediately got into the thick of things as he reached the touchline down the left before putting in a searching cross that was fumbled by Albino Gomes but Hume was inches away from reaching it as the ball went out of play.
The home side had a couple of gilt edged chances but failed to convert either with Doutie being the culprti on both occasions. First it was a smart cross from Iain Hume down the left that saw Doutie bring the ball down expertly with Gomes missing it completely. However Goian did ever so well to put in a sliding tackle to block Doutie’s shot.
It was then Javi Lara who whipped in a corner straight down the throat of the Mumbai defense but Doutie’s header was blocked by Sehnaj Singh.
With less than twenty minutes left, Stephen Pearson drifted past a couple of defenders with consummate ease before pinging it towards Iain Hume but the Canadian’s left footed effort was saved well by Albino Gomes.
It was the Mumbaikars who took an unexpected lead in the79th minute through their talisman Diego Forlan. Sony Norde did ever so well to storm down the left with Prabir caught napping, before centering the ball expertly to the Uruguayan who was completely left to his own will. His powerful left footed shot was straight to Debjit but the goalkeeper failed to keep it out, even though he managed to get a hand to it.
The goal came as a veritable shock to the Kolkata side who did much of the attacking in the second half with Mumbai sitting back.
Desperate to get back into the game, Molina threw caution to the wind and put in Lalrindika Ralte in place of Arnab Mondal. Ralte found Hume down the left almost immediately before Ashutosh Mehta clumsily brought down the Canadian to concede a silly free-kick.
Lara’s delivery off the set piece was inch perfect as Hume snuck into the far post unmarked but was foiled by Albino Gomes who looked to be making up for his earlier indiscretions.
The home side had a last chance to preserve their unbeaten start after Hume was brought down just on the edge of the box by Goian. Javi Lara stepped up to take the set piece but his shot was expertly palmed away by Albino Gomes who really put up a good showing on his debut.
The win allowed Alexandre Guimaraes’ side to go top of the table while the home side slipped to the third position on the table with Jose Molina’s men playing a match less.