Zequinha stars in ATK’s first win of the season

The striker helped deliver a 1-0 victory over Mumbai City FC.

ATK striker Robin Singh (9) and Mumbai City FC defender Luican Golan in action on Sunday.   -  ISL/SPORTZPICS

Zequinha sparkled on the left flank to deliver ATK a 1-0 win over Mumbai City FC in an Indian Super League (ISL) clash on Sunday.

Having almost scored a goal off a solo run from the centreline, the striker created the opportunity for what turned out to be the decisive goal that separated the sides in the 54th minute. Mumbai’s goalkeeper Amrinder Singh had until then kept his team in the contest with some stunning saves; with Zequinha’s pass that allowed Robin Singh to scramble the ball home, ATK finally had the taste of victory, its first in five ISL games.

Match Centre

The win helped the visitor climb two spots and take the eighth spot in the league table. Mumbai remained in the fifth spot, with its first defeat at the Mumbai Football Arena.

The match didn’t adhere to a free-flowing pattern; frequent stoppages due to desperate tackles disrupted the flow of the game. Yellow cards were dealt in plenty by the referee; early on in the game, Mumbai’s tough defending resulted in free-kicks against the team, and yellow cards. ATK’s Rupert Nongrum sniffed a chance but his first touch off a through by Zequinha was mistimed. Thomas Thorpe got to the end of a free-kick by Ryan Taylor, who debuted for ATK, but Amrinder kept his cool to clear.

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Always dangerous on counter-attacks, Zequinha took off on a thrilling run down the left, outpacing defenders from the centreline into the box but his shot was blocked by an alert Amrinder.

Barrier broken

Before long, the barrier was broken. ATK captain Robbie Keane, playing his first full game, had a hand in the goal by putting Zequinha in possession on the left flank. The pacy Portuguese kept himself free for the ball, took a moment to look up and spot team-mates in the goalmouth. Mumbai’s defenders, rushing back to cover the angle, were not prepared for a pass from the outside off the right foot. The unusual angle saw the ball dip near the left post for Robin to squeeze a shot in past the custodian’s legs.

Mumbai made a late charge for the equaliser. Substitute Pranjal Bhumij forced Debjit Majumder to block a shot in the 90th minute.

The team had its chances earlier as well. In the 35th minute, after Sehnaj Singh had sent the ball into the goalmouth off a cleared corner, Balwant Singh’s header flew over the crossbar. On another occasion, Gerson Vieira connected but could not find his target.

The team eventually paid for its lapses.

Final score
  • ATK 1 (Robin Singh 54’) bt Mumbai City FC 0

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