Mumbai City FC showed little signs of their ordeal in flood-hit Chennai as they edged out defending champions Atletico de Kolkata 3-2 in their concluding round match of the Indian Super League on Friday
Kolkata: A late strike from Mumbai City forward Sony Norde helped his side win their last match of their Indian Super League (ISL) season against Atletico de Kolkata (ATK) 3-2 at the Salt Lake stadium here on Friday.
For Mumbai, Norde scored a brace and Sunil Chhetri netted the other, while for the losers it was Canadian striker Iain Hume and Arata Izumi who got on the scoresheet.
Mumbai City FC forward Sony Norde (R) vies for the ball with Atletico de Kolkata's midfielder Borja Fernandez during the Indian Super League match at The Salt Lake Stadium in Kolkata on Friday. Pic/AFP
After 14 games each, ATK are still at the top with 23 points and Mumbai City finish their campaign at seventh place with 16 points.
The loss now opens the door for Delhi Dynamos and FC Goa to go atop the points table with a win in the last game.
It was a lively start to the first 45 minute as both sides came close to scoring. First it was Sameegh Doutie for ATK who slipped near and the edge of the six-yard box but could not guide the ball in the back of the net, next it was Sunil Chhetri whose shot was kept out by Atletico custodian Juan Calatayud.
Hume, in the 9th minute, was through on goal but his effort was just whiskers away from the right post. A few minutes later it was Doutie again who tried to give his team the lead after latching onto a delightful long ball from Gavilan Martinez. The South African after running a few yards tried to curl in the ball with his right foot but his shot went just wide.
However, in the 26th minute mark, Mumbai’s Haitian forward Norde who also plies his trade for city football giants Mohun Bagan smashed the ball in after receiving it from team-mate Selim Benachour. ATK complained of off-side but their shouts fell in deaf ears. Television replays showed, however, that Norde was played on-side by Nallapan Mohanraj on the far right.
The next chance fell for Hume who could not guide the ball into the open net after being gifted with the sphere by rival custodian Subrata Paul. At the other end it was Chhetri who missed a sitter.
As ATK kept on pressing forward in numbers, the Mumbai defence was bound to feel the heat and it crumbled as Pratesh Shirodkar brought down Mohammed Rafique inside the box. Hume stepped upto the spot and slot the penalty into the back of the net calmly, bringing up his 10th goal of the season.
At halftime the scoreline read 1-1.
The first chance after the breather came for Mumbai as Benachour danced around in the ATK box, flooring defenders but he took one touch to many and the danger was cleared away.
Thereafter it was a cagey affair as both outfits tried controlling the game in the midfield. The defences held strong and the strikers had to remain content with shots from distance.
In the 81st minute, Atletico defender Tiri and Arata Izumi together brought down Juan Aguilera in the box and Mumbai City were given a spot-kick. It was Chhetri who wrong footed Catalyud and tucked it in for his seventh of the campaign.
When all seemed lost for the home side, it was Izumi who restored parity as he hammered home a flick on from Serbian forward Dejan Lekic.
Izumi could have got the winner with another thunderbolt but Subrata Paul somehow kept it out.
At the other end however, it was Norde who found the winner with a brilliant right footed finish that went in off the post in the 94th minute.
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