Atletico de Kolkata find themselves in an advantageous position after getting the better of Mumbai City FC 3-2 in an enthralling first leg semi-final of Hero Indian Super League at Rabindra Sarobar Stadium, Kolkata, on Saturday.
Atletico de Kolkata took an early lead through Lalrindika Ralte (3rd minute) but Mumbai struck back with two quick goals from Leo Costa (10th minute) and Gerson Vieira (19th minute) only for Iain Hume to turn the match on its head for Atletico de Kolkata with two goals in the first half itself.
The first half saw an amazing five goals starting from the third minute and ending with the third minute of added time.. The most significant development of the game, however, came in the second half when Mumbai City marquee player Diego Forlan was sent off for receiving two yellow cards. Forlan will now miss the home clash on December 13, weakening Mumbai City and giving Atletico de Kolkata a major advantage.
Playing at home where they have won just one game, Atletico de Kolkata were eager to make amends and took the lead in the third minute through a freakish goal. A cross from Borja Fernandez into the box saw Ralte head the ball towards goal and goalkeeper Amrinder Singh was unable to keep it out.
Mumbai City however were back in the game seven minutes later as Leo Costa got the equaliser. A free-kick from Forlan saw Sunil Chhetri head the ball towards Leo Costa and the Brazilian did the rest with an angular shot that beat the rival goalkeeper.
Mumbai then took the lead for the first time through Gerson Vieira who capitalised on a dozing Atletico de Kolkata defence to head Forlan’s free-kick into the net.
It was not until the closing stages of the first half that Atletico de Kolkata snatched the advantage. Iain Hume, the leading goal-scorer in ISL history, was the man who got the equaliser as he hammered home from inside the box a ball deftly set-up by Ralte in the 39th minute.
Hume scored his second of the night and the most important one in added time after Helder Postiga was brought down inside the box prompting the referee to award a penalty. There was considerable delay before the penalty was taken but Hume kept his cool to put his team ahead.
In the second session, Mumbai City tried to make a match but their efforts ended when Forlan picked up his second booking and was promptly sent off in the 74th minute.
Forlan’s absence will be a big loss for Mumbai City as they attempt to secure their first final appearance at the cost of Atletico de Kolkata, champions in 2014.