The Indian Super League (ISL) might not be on the same level as the Championship but the season has continued serving thrills every new week as teams battle for the title. For fans in Mumbai City, the football season is always thrilling with the local team Mumbai City FC taking part in the ISL.
For the new season, the local team had a rough start but their recent form had improved and given fans hopes of better things to come. Before the ATK game, the Mumbai team was on a six-match unbeaten run including three wins in their last three matches.
It was a match that had a lot at stake as the homeboys would have leapfrogged the visiting team in the standings moving to the third position. However, Mumbai FC was to suffer more heartbreak with a two-goal loss against the highflying ATK even without Middlesbrough youth academy graduate John Johnson featuring. Here are some highlights from the match.
Preview of the Match
Mumbai FC had hoped for a great performance against the mighty ATK and a second home win of the ISL season. The football match on January 4th at the Mumbai Football Arena on Saturday was a big test to the local team as ATK had snatched an encouraging win against Bengaluru in their previous match.
The Kolkata-based team was visiting Mumbai while at the third position and the team had a record for the largest haul of ISL trophies alongside Chennaiyin FC. The tasks for Mumbai was along one of stopping a free-scoring ATK attack. While Mumbai FC’s defence had improved before the ATK game, it was always going to be tough to stop Roy Krishna and David Williams and others.
There was also a big gap to fill in the form of Paulo Machado and Coach Jorge Costa appreciated the situation. The Portuguese midfielder had suffered an injury and was out for the rest of the season.
On the other side, ATK Coach Antonio Habas brought in an almost full squad save for Agus. By the time of visiting Mumbai, the team ranked second in terms of goals which was not good news for the guests. Fans could catch live updates on the match from SportsAdda and Mumbai City F.C.
How It All Went Down
While Mumbai seemed all set to resist ATK forward push, they finally gave in at the 29th minute with PronayHalder giving the visitors the lead. Roy Krishna and David Williams worked seamlessly to give the ball to set up Halder for the goal.
The scorer suffered an injury paving the way for Michael Soosairaj who also found the net in the 43rd minute. The two goals were enough to get the visitors all three points.
Home Team’s Impressive Possession
While the home team dominated the game, it was Antonio Habas’ side that delivered the goods and grabbed the three crucial points. Football fans in Mumbai must be ruing the many missed chances despite the home coach Costa disputing some refereeing decisions.
The hosts had better possession throughout the match and they also made dangerous attempts by ModouSougou, Amine Chermiti and Diego Carlos at ATK’s goal. Their striking inefficiencies cost the team home the game.
Poor Refereeing Concerns
Two questionable refereeing calls could also have cost Mumbai FC the game. The first came when Sougou found the back of the net but was ruled offside.
Replays show this might not have been the case. The next poor call came when the referee disallowed a goal by Sougou again due to a foul on ATK keeper Arindam Bhattacharya. Replays showed there was no contact between the striker and ATK’s keeper.
WhileATK ended Mumbai City FC’s unbeaten run, home fans who watched the duel have to be impressed by their team. The home team dominated the action and were it not for the two questionable refereeing calls; things would have turned out differently. The urgency the local team sowed in the second half is a pointer of the resilience needed to win tough matches. However, the team will also rue the missed chances that might have turned the game.