ATK relieved a little pressure off their manager Teddy Sheringham and cruised to a well-fought victory against Mumbai City FC.
A spectacular save late into added time by Debjit Majumder helped ATK to a 1-0 victory over Mumbai City FC in the Hero Indian Super League at Mumbai Sports Arena on Sunday. The victory, fashioned by a moment of calmness from Robin Singh in the 54th minute, was the defending champions’ first of the season.
Mumbai City FC had come into the game hoping to take all three points to leapfrog local rivals FC Pune City into the top four position in the ISL table. ATK, on the other hand, entered the contest as the only team without a bag full of three points. But on Sunday night, Teddy Sheringham’s boys broke the shackles with a fine display against the spirited home team. And, yes, ATK are no longer at the bottom of the table. NorthEast and Delhi Dynamos are ninth and last, respectively.
In the first half, Mumbai City No.1 Amrinder Singh had to make a couple of smart saves to keep ATK attackers at bay. In the 37th minutes of the game, Alexandre Guimaraes side had earned a corner but ATK defended their line well and it almost resulted in a goal at the other end. Zequinha made a bursting run from his own half and forced Singh to make a save at his near post.
The Portuguese winger gave Mumbai City defenders a torrid time the entire night. Mumbai defender Mehraj-Ud-Din Wadoo, who was playing right-back was finding it really hard to deal with Zequinha’s raw pace.
The second half began much like the first one. The Mumbai City FC goalkeeper was again called into action five minutes after the restart. This time it was Robbie Keane’s turn test Singh.
In the 54th minute, ATK finally had their goal and it was Zequinha who created the opening. After another purposeful run down the wing, the Portuguese sent in a cross into the Mumbai box which was turned in to the goal by Robin Singh at near-post.
Stung by the goal, Mumbai City FC responded well. Everton Santos’s cross in the 66th minute found Balwant Singh at the far post. The striker’s header was only parried by ATK goalkeeper Debjit Majumder which resulted in a melee inside the box. Alas, Mumbai failed to do anything significant.
Sheringham’s side was defending resolutely to hold on to their one-goal advantage. However, the home side still managed to create a few more chances and it can be said they worked hard enough to earn at least a point.
In added time, Guimaraes’s side had a glorious opportunity to snatch a late draw but ATK goalkeeper Majumder came up with a heroic save to deny the home side. Achille Emana’s drilled cross was parried by Majumder into the path of Pranjal Bhumij at the far post. The winger went for goal but Majumder got up in time to cap a fine save.