Modou Sougou scored a stunning hat-trick to earn Mumbai City FC a play-off berth after sealing a 3-1 win over ATK in the Indian Super League match at the Salt Lake Stadium on Friday.
The Senegalese striker rose to the occasion to strike three wonderfil goals and ensure his side's progression. ATK managed to pull one back through Andre Bikey, but his effort seemed to come a bit too late.
ATK vs MCFC - Key Highlights
The win took Mumbai City’s tally to 30 points, putting it in the third spot in the current standings behind leader Bengaluru FC and second-placed FC Goa. The top two have already made it to the playoffs. For ATK, the season ends on a bitter note as the two-time champion failed to make it to the playoffs for the second successive occasion.
The host missed the services of two influential foreigners – Spanish winger Manuel Lanzarote and English defender John Johnson – who were forced to sit out owing to suspension.
Mumbai City made the most of the host’s weakness and found the first goal in the 26th minute when Pranjal Bhumij released Sougou ahead of the ATK defence with a nice lob from the middle, that also kept the latter onside to score.
ATK nearly restored parity off a well-coordinated move in the 38th minute. But an alert Mumbai City goalkeeper Amrinder Singh stopped Jayesh Rane from finding the equaliser. Mumbai City doubled the lead a minute later when Souvik Chakrabarti played Arnold Issoko free on the right. The Congolese midfielder ran down the wing to set up a precise cross that Sougou volleyed home in emphatic fashion.
Mumbai City put the tie to bed on the hour mark when Matias Mirabaje exposed the chinks in the ATK defence once more, sending the ball to Sougou, who made no mistake to find the back of the net and register his second hat-trick of the season.
Andre Bikey reduced the margin for ATK with a fine header in the 67th minute, but the possibility of a comeback was long over for the host.
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