ISL: ATK defeats Mumbai City FC 2-0 to go up
KOLKATA: ATK returned to the top of the ISL table with a 2-0 victory over Mumbai City FC on Saturday.
Pronay Halder opened the scoring for visitors in the 29th minute and Michael Soosairaj confirmed the second trot victory for the two-time champions with a good blow in the 43rd minute in the minute Mumbai Football Arena .
With 21 points in 11 games, Antonio López Habas' team broke off FC Goa from above thanks to a better goal difference of +12 (against the +9 of Goa's rivals).
On the other hand, Mumbai, after suffering his third defeat, remained in fourth place with 16 points in 11 games.
The game had a lively start with the two goalkeepers forced into action from the beginning. Mumbai's custodian, Amrinder Singh, had to come down intelligently to prevent a long-range ranger Jayesh Rane in the third minute, while Diego Carlos itched the palms of the goalkeeper ATK Arindam Bhattacharya with a shot from within the area minutes later.
As the game approached the half-hour mark, ATK began to venture into the rival box. The visitors took the lead in the 29th minute when midfielder Javier Hernandez and Fiji striker Roy Krishna combined well to find David Williams inside the area. The Australian used the presence of his mind to choose a Pronay that was rushing and put it into the net calmly.
But the celebrations, however, were attacked by an injury that Pronay suffered while scoring, with López Habas forced to send Soosairaj instead of the scorer.
That Spanish movement was worth it in the 43rd minute when Soosairaj found himself in possession of the left wing. Then he placed a sensational curling iron in the far corner to double the advantage of ATK at the break.
Losing 0-2, the home team showed greater urgency in the second half while looking for a way back to the game. But Jorge Costa's side had no luck on his part.
Striker Modou Sougou found the back of the net in the 68th minute, but the effort was offside.
Mumbai continued to push further with the attempts, but saw that the possibilities were increasing, thanks to a combination of last-minute defense and poor finishing.
Amine Chermiti was denied in the 74th minute after a desperate clearance in the goal line after a fight inside the area.
Sougou thought he had a goal in the 82nd minute when Arindam spilled a ball and handed it over, but the referee rejected a foul on the goalkeeper. Towards the end, Sougou hit the wood and Mumbai stayed to reflect on the possibilities they wasted.
ATK next host Kerala Blasters FC on January 12, while Mumbai will travel to face Odisha FC a day earlier.