A class performance by ATK witnessed them bagged the victory in the first leg of the semi-final.
10th December 2016
Venue: Rabindra Sarobar Stadium, Kolkata
Atletico de Kolkata Starting XI : Dani Mallo (GK), Prabir Das, Kinshuk Debnath, Henrique Fonseca Sereno, Keegan Pereira, Borja FernaNdez(C), Jewel Raja Shaikh, Sameehg Doutie, HeLder Postiga, Lalrindika Ralte, Iain Hume
Mumbai City FC Starting XI : Amrinder Singh (GK), Sehnaj Singh, Anwar Ali, Lucian Goian, Lalhmangaihsanga Ralte, Gerson Vieira, KrisztiaN VadoCz, LeO Costa, Otacilio Brito Alves, Sunil Chhetri, Diego ForlaN (C)
For the third year in a row, Atletico de Kolkata made their way into the semi-final of the Indian Super League with a game in hand and a spirit of confidence and determination to take back what was ours! As the names of the top four teams who are fighting for the title settled; ATK was set to go head to head with Mumbai City FC who's making their debut in the semi-final. The starting lineup saw both teams bringing on the best to the table.
In the first semi-final game of the season,the audience witnessed an action-packed class performance game from both sides.The game wasn't free from heated exchanges that resulted in a colourful display of cards throughout the game. However, through and through ATK's display for passion and spirit along with the roaring support from the fans was displayed in the scoreline as it reads 3-2 in our favour.
From the first whistle, ATK displayed a brilliant performance, attacking the visitors from both sides of the flangs. And it didn't take long for Dika Ralte to head in the first goal for the home team in the third minute of the game, giving ATK the perfect start. Doutie's corner which was cleared back to him was followed by a flick from our Captain, Borja, to Dika who bolted it right between the hands of Amrinder Singh hitting the top right corner of the net. Following this was a series of attack by Hume however with the away team was quick to retaliate with a goal from Leo Costa that equalised the scoreline to one all.
Both teams were both on their toes as the ball was travelling from one end of the field to the other, changing hands from Forlan to Doutie and Hume. The eighteen minute of the game, saw the game turning in favour of the visitors as Gerson was foul earning Mumbai City FC a free kick. Forlan's free kick found Gerson who netted a header for his team giving them a lead. What followed in the 20th minute of the game was a display of yellow cards for both teams as Alves was booked for his challenge on Postiga and Dika for his tackle on Vieira. A series of effort from the team's midfielders lead to Borja winning a corner after he had a close encounter with the keeper and Doutie taking a close range shot that was palmed away to safety.
At the half-hour mark, the visitors lead by a goal and yet another yellow card was shown for the visitors this time for L'aihsanga Ralte rough challenge on Doutie after conceding a few fouls in the past few minutes. In the next few moments, ATK is seen taking control of the play with Das carrying forward the ball and challenging the opponents and then Shaikn holding possession of the ball through a display of skills.
Then came the Das-Doutie duo who combined play to take on the visitors, passes to Borja who shot it over the goal.
What followed next caused mayhem for the away team. Dika moved in the box, playing around with the ball, tries to cross it in but Amrinder got behind it to clear the ball. But his clearance deflected to Doutie who converted on this chance to set up a goal for Hume and brought ATK back on the scoreline.
With the game entering the fortieth minute, the intensity of the game increases as ATK's momentum also shooting higher causing trouble for Mumbai City FC. However, it was Postiga and Doutie who combined forces for another attack that resulted in Postiga winning a penalty as Sanga Ralte fouled him in the box and Hume bagged his seventh goal of the season, once again putting the team ahead of the visitors by the end of the first half.
HT Scoreline: Atletico de Kolkata 3 : 2 Mumbai City FC
ATK kicked-off the second half of the game, Alves tries his luck with his shot from the distance but it was wasted as the ball goes wide. Another close attempt was made by Chhetri who tried to convert from a pass by Forlan as he slides into the box but the ball hit the stands.
The fifth minute of the game started with a fiery exchange between Forlan and Sereno as the away captain gets booked for his unnecessary scuffle with Sereno after a foul which led to him getting booked. Minutes later, Hume had a close opportunity to net in a hat trick as Doutie makes a good run from the wings and crosses it to him but the shot goes past the goal.
As we hit the hour mark, Mumbai City tried to move forward with their counter attack before Shaikh intercepted Gerson's play, clearing the ball to safety. What followed after this was ATK's attacks which almost saw Hume heading in the awaited hat trick through his gameplay with Dika.
The visitors had a decent spell of possession in the next few minutes but things turned sour as Forlan was sent off after he kicked Shaikh out of frustration for his dispossession as he tried to break through from the left flang - Mumbai City is reduced to ten men. ATK took this opportunity to change their play as Ruidas was brought in for Dika in the seventy-fourth minute and it wasn't long before he earned a free kick for the team after Sehnaj was booked for his rough tackle on him. ATK almost put one more on the score sheet as Postiga netted a goal taking advantage of Amrinder's clearance, but the linesman raises the flag for an offside.
On approaching the last ten minutes of the game, the atmosphere in the stadium was electrifying as the supporters chanted for ATK, Lara and Belencoso also came on for Postiga and Doutie respectively. As Mumbai City tried their last strings of attack to get back on the score sheet but our boys stood their ground, winning the first leg of the semi-final.
FT Scoreline: Atletico de Kolkata 3 : 2 Mumbai City FC
Ball possession: ATK 54% : 46% MUM
Shots on Goal: ATK 6 : 5 MUM
In the after match Awards, ATK bagged three awards:
Club Award: Atletico de Kolkata
Amul Fittest Player of the Match: Sameehg Doutie
Winning Pass of the Match : Sameehg Doutie
Emerging Player of the Match Award : Lalrindika Ralte
The Hero of the Match : Ian Hume
Three times semi-finalist Atletico de Kolkata will meet the League table topper, Mumbai City FC once again on the 13th of December for the second leg at the Mumbai Football Arena, Mumbai.