Forlan's late strike seals all three points for Mumbai
The Mumbaikars halted Kolkata's unbeaten record to return to winning ways..
Atletico de Kolkata's unbeaten streak in the third season of the Indian Super League (ISL) 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 at the Rabindra Sarobar Stadium on Tuesday.
Atletico de Kolkata, who were coming off a morale boosting win against Delhi Dynamos, were playing their second home game on the trot. Jose Molina drafted in Stephen Pearson, Abinas Ruidas, Arnab Mondal, Javi Lara and Robert Lalthlamuana into the squad.
Meanwhile Mumbai City FC, who suffered a shock defeat against FC Goa, made 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 Halder and Leo Costa were all missing due to injuries.
Forlan's second ISL goal also helped Mumbai end a run of four games without a win, as they took all three points after gaining just two from their last four in only their third win of the season. Former Arsenal and Barcelona striker Thierry Henry was also in attendance in an open game that saw plenty of chances at either end and some outstanding saves by both goalkeepers.
The best chance of the first half came in the 33rd minute when Sony Norde was denied by a diving Debjit, who pulled off one of the saves of the tournament. Norde's powerful shot was heading towards the top right corner when Debjit dived to his left and got his right hand up on time to tip the ball over.
For Atletico, Doutie was the biggest attacking threat on the right flank, but Mumbai left-back Sena Ralte marked him well through much of the first half. Doutie's best chance came in the 23rd minute when he was put through by Iain Hume on the left hand side of the box. The South African winger slipped before getting a shot away and Mumbai cleared.
Winning Goal from Diego Forlan
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. While Debjit pulled off yet another good save to deny Norde, Gomes dived to his left to save Lara's curling shot from the edge of the box to keep it 0-0 at half-time.
Atletico made a change at the break with Bidyananda Singh replacing Abhinas Ruidas, which forced Doutie to shift to the left wing for a while. The hosts started the second half on the front foot, but had to be cautious as Norde remained a threat on the counter.
Sony Norde beat two Atletico defenders on the left flank, and put in a cross that hit Prabir Das before falling to Diego Forlan five yards from goal in the 79th minute. Forlan took a first touch before smashing it into the roof of the net with his left foot to put Mumbai ahead.
Atletico launched a series of attacks in the last ten minutes in search for an equalizer. Hume came close in the 85th minute when Javi Lara's free-kick almost met his head. In the last minute of added time, Javi Lara had a free-kick about 25 yards away from goal saved by Albino Gomes to hand the home side their first loss of the season. In the end, the Mumbai defence held on to take home all three points.
Atletico De Kolkata will face-off against NorthEast United FC on the 28th of October in Guwahati which will be the first of the three consecutive away fixtures for the Sourav Ganguly co-owned franchise while Mumbai City FC will travel to the land of the Machans to face Chennaiyin FC on the 2nd of November.
Report by Khel Now Correspondent Kushankur Rony Rakshit. Sports passionate and content writer. He is big football and cricket fan.
Published: Tue Oct 25, 2016 11:17 PM IST