Mumbai FC spoils ATK's party

Sony Norde scored twice while Sunil Chhetri scored one from the spot to realise the three goals for the visitor.

Sony Norde's 93rd minute goal gave Mumbai City FC the winning points.   -  ISL SPORTZPICS

Atletico de Kolkata slipped at the last post and lost the chance to ensure the top berth as Mumbai City FC surprised it 3-2 in their final league outing of the Hero Indian Super League (ISL) here at the Salt Lake Stadium on Friday.

Sony Norde scored twice while Sunil Chhetri scored one from the spot to realise the three goals for the visitor.

Iain Hume (penalty) and Arata Izumi scored one apiece for the host.

Mumbai City FC, which had remained winless in the last seven rounds, came up with a refreshingly nice performance which hardly betrayed the travails the team had to endure while making its way from a rain-ravaged Chennai. Mumbai arrived here on the morning of the match and played without having the regulation practice at the venue.

But the win remained fruitless as the visitor had crashed out of the tournament much before.

Mumbai wrested the initiative as the host sought to have it easy in the beginning.

Norde, who has made the city his home playing for Mohun Bagan in past couple of seasons, came alive with the first move in the fifth minute setting up a cross on the ATK goalmouth but it went a begging.

Chhetri, the national team captain, shot straight at the ATK goalkeeper in the next minute. Norde found the target finally in the 26th minute making the most of a smart through-pass from the Tunisian midfielder Selim Benachour.

The ATK had its own share of opportunities and could have earned the lead well ahead of the visitor had Hume and Sameehg Doutie converted the chances coming their way in the ninth and 16th minutes. Having only the Mumbai FC goalkeeper Subrata Paul at his mercy, Hume saw his attempt curving away from the goal while Doutie was similarly wayward seven minutes later shooting wide close from the goal mouth. Finally, a push on Mohammad Rafique by Mumbai midfielder Pratesh Sirodkar inside own box earned ATK a penalty in the injury time (45+1) which Hume scored to restore parity before the break.

The second session brightened up towards the end when Mumbai FC earned a penalty in the 80th minute. Sunil Chhetri scored from the spot to get the lead back for the visitor before Arata availed a long floater from Borja Fernandez to make it 2-2 in the 90th minute. Refusing to bow down Mumbai FC found the lead decisively in the injury time (90+3 minutes) to ensure its first away win, which could only fetch it some consolation to the team that had already crashed out of the tournament.

ATK remained at the top with 24 points from 14 matches but it position remained under the threat of being overhauled. The winner of Sunday’s tie between FC Goa and Delhi Dynamos (both on 22 points) will have the chance to top the standings. All the three teams have reached the knockout stage but the standings remain to be decided.

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