Atletico de Kolkata hosted FC Pune City at the Salt Lake Stadium in Round 13 of the Indian Super League. A win for the defending champions against Pune, who they had never beaten before, would have secured playoff qualifcation for the home side.
Before going into the game, Atletico were sitting at the top of the table with 20 points from 12 games, while FC Pune City were struggling at sixth position with just 15 points from 11 games.
The Kolkata side had improved their home form after back to back wins against Chennaiyin FC and FC Goa, while FC Pune City have an abysmal record away from home, having failed to register a single away win this season.
Atletico de Kolkata had won their last game 4-0 against FC Goa at the Salt Lake Stadium, which was also their biggest home win, while FC Pune City came into the game having lost 3-1 away to Delhi Dynamos.
The reverse fixture played at the Shree Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex in Pune saw the home team winning 1-0, with Jackichand Singh scoring an early goal in the game. Things were different before the match, with Ateltico de Kolkata managing to change their fortunes after struggling in the middle of the season, and now reigning at the top of the table.
Antonio Habas made just one change to the team that won against FC Goa with Arata Izumi coming in for Mohammed Rafique, while David Platt made six changes to the side that lost 3-1 to Delhi Dynamos.
Atletico dominated the opening minutes of the game, and were rewarded with an early goal by Iain Hume, who continued his fine form this season. Arata Izumi did well to lay it off for Hume after both players were clear on goal, and the Canadian striker made no mistake to put it past Arindam.
With that goal Iain Hume took his goal tally to 7 this season, just three behind top goal scorer Mendoza.
FC Pune City looked abysmal in the first half and struggled to create any actual chances. Eugeneson Lyngdoh and Ruiz tried to turn things around for the visitors, and Pune did come close to leveling the score in the 23rd minute, but Turkish striker Tuncay Sanli’s left-footed shot came back off the far post.
Atletico de Kolkata looked organised and always looked like the team more likely to score again. Just before the break, Pune City came close to scoring yet again through Mutu, but his free-kick was saved by Amrinder Singh.
After the break, Iain Hume took just two minutes to score his second goal of the game and doubled the lead for the Kolkata outfit. The Canadian’s acrobatic effort from a Borja Fernandez lob ended up in the back of the net and Pune City were two goals down at the home of the defending champions.
For FC Pune City, Adrian Mutu looked impressive as he tried to get back his team back into the game, but it was Hume again who struck, completing his hat-trick in the 83rd minute from a Sameehg Doutie pass to make it 3-0 to Atletico.
That was Iain Hume’s second hat-trick for Atletico de Kolkata after scoring one earlier against Mumbai City FC, and his 9th goal of the season.
Adrian Mutu’s hard work finally reaped rewards in the 86th minute as he pulled one back for the visitors after he got past four Atletico players inside the penalty box. FC Pune City came close to make something out of the game as Ruiz’s header came off the post just a couple of minutes after that.
Former Eibar striker Dejan Lekic then completed the rout in the dying seconds of the game as he cut inside from the right side to put it past Arindam to make it 4-1 to Atletico de Kolkata.
For Atletico de Kolkata, it was a case of continuing their brilliant form and keeping the momentum going, while FC Pune City struggled yet again away from home and now face a daunting task of qualifying for the playoffs.