Mumbai City FC beat Atlético de Kolkata 3-2 in front of 61,276 spectators in the 2015 Hero Indian Super League at the Salt Lake Stadium in Kolkata on Friday to end their campaign on a positive note. A brace from Sony Norde and a penalty from Sunil Chhetri were enough for Mumbai to break ATK’s three-match winning streak. For the defending champions, Iain Hume and Arata Izumi hit the back of the net.
The home side could have gone ahead inside the opening minute when Javi Gavilan played in a free-kick from the edge of the penalty area to Sameegh Doutie. The South African however failed to connect with the ball as Mumbai received an early reprieve.
Chhetri went through on goal six minutes later after a searching ball over ATK’s backline. Mumbai’s top-scorer struck a ferocious shot straight at keeper Juan Calatayud who was equal to the task and kept out Chhetri’s effort.
Hume went straight up the other end after another defence-splitting pass from Gavilan. Hume’s shot almost snuck into Mumbai’s goal but the scores stayed 0-0 in what had been an action-packed opening 10 minutes.
Doutie had another golden opportunity in the 16th minute to hand Kolkata the lead, but the 26-year-old’s shot went agonizingly past Mumbai’s goal. Chhetri had another effort at goal soon after when he tried guiding a Norde free-kick goal-wards but failed to hit the target.
Mumbai finally took the lead in the 26th minute through their brightest spark Norde who beat the offside trap when Selim Benachour played him through on goal. The Haitian made no mistake as he powered in a left-footed shot beyond Calatayud to give Mumbai the lead.
The visitors should have made it 2-0, four minutes before the break after a Benachour flick put Chhetri in on goal with just the keeper to beat. Chhetri’s toe-poke towards goal went inches wide of Kolkata’s goal, much to the relief of the home crowd.
Kolkata made Mumbai pay for their wastefulness in front of goal just before half-time when Pavel Cmovs was punished for fouling Mohammed Rafique inside the penalty box. ATK’s top-scorer, Hume stepped up and converted the spot-kick with confidence as both teams headed into the tunnel at the break all square.
Saran Singh had the first big chance of the second period when Benachour once again played the perfect ball for Singh to find himself one-on-one with Calatayud at a tight angle. Singh did test Calatayud but the Spanish keeper saved comfortably at his near post.
Norde almost caught Kolkata’s defence by surprise 15 minutes before full-time when he cut in from the left flank and took a snap-shot at goal which just flew over the home-side’s crossbar. Mumbai received a golden chance of bagging all three points five minutes later when Juan Aguilera was bought down in the penalty box.
Chhetri took responsibility of the spot-kick and made no mistake this time as he sent Calatayud the wrong way to make it 2-1 for the visitors. The champions though dug deep and equalized on the stroke of full-time through Izumi. A long ball forward fell straight into Izumi’s path as the 33-year-old hammered in a left-footed shot past Subrata Paul.
However, Mumbai had the final say in the last minute of added time when Benachour played in Norde who blasted his shot past Calatayud in goal to give Mumbai their first away win ever.