Mumbai City FC beat ATK to keep Indian Super League semi-final hopes alive

Marcio Rozario put Mumbai City FC ahead in the 32nd minute against ATK in an Indian Super League (ISL) match. Bipin Singh got ATK back on level terms in the 47th before Rafa Jorda headed Mumbai City FC to victory in the 53rd.

football Updated: Feb 18, 2018 22:47 IST
Dhiman Sarkar
Dhiman Sarkar
Hindustan Times, Kolkata
Indian Super League,ISL 2017-18,Mumbai City FC
Rafael Jorda Ruiz De Assin of Mumbai City FC celebrates after scoring against ATK in an Indian Super League (ISL) match at the Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan Stadium in Kolkata on Sunday.(ISL / SPORTZPICS)

Mumbai City FC kept alive slender hopes of sneaking into the top four of the Indian Super League (ISL) with a 2-1 win against ATK at Salt Lake stadium here on Sunday. The visiting team moved to 20 points from 15 games and are six adrift of the fourth-placed Jamshedpur FC with a match in hand.

Marcio Rozario put the blue shirts ahead in the 32nd minute. Bipin Singh got ATK back on level terms in the 47th before Rafa Jorda headed Mumbai City FC to victory in the 53rd.

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ATK paid for poor defensive discipline that led to them conceding free-kicks in dangerous areas. Anwar Ali, back after limping off in the 16th minute with a hamstring problem against FC Goa here on January 3, felled Jorda and it led to the visiting team getting a set-piece from almost the top of the 18-yard box.

With the full goal in sight, Brazilian central defender Rozario, who was said to be doubtful due to injury, went for ATK goalie Soram Poirei’s right. The shot-stopper’s line of sight may have been blocked by the 1.92m Jorda who stood in front of ATK’s defensive wall and all he could do was only get a hand to Rozario’s effort. This was Rozario’s first goal in ISL4.

Four minutes later, Ashutosh Mehta felled Mumbai City FC’s Cameroonian striker Achille Edzimbi on the right of the penalty area but this time Poirei managed to keep out Edzimbi’s punch for a corner-kick.

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ATK began the second half briskly and pulled things level through Singh. It was their best goal of the competition and came from a sequence of passes set going on the left by Keegan Pereira with Jayesh Rane and Connor Thomas embroidering the build-up. Singh, who has been one of the few Indians players in ATK who have caught the eye this term, timed his run perfectly to stay on-side, beat Mumbai City FC left-back Raju Gaikwad and meet Thomas’s prompt before shooting home.

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But as has been the case with ATK, they committed another error at the back and lost for the fifth time in their last six games. In the 53rd minute, former ATK player Sanju Pradhan essayed a delivery from the left. Mehta didn’t attack the ball and another player mistimed his jump which meant Jorda got a free header he duly flicked into goal.

The closest ATK came to making it 2-2 was deep in stoppage time when from almost the spot that Rozario scored, Ryan Taylor blasted his free-kick into the horizontal. ATK have 13 points from 15 games.

First Published: Feb 18, 2018 22:40 IST