We kept complaining about ATK’s ‘Not-So-Impessive’ performance at the new home venue.i.e. Rabindra Sarobar Stadium, but very lil did we knew that ATK was planning to thrash us wrong and bid a warm good-bye to the ATKFans at home in some style.. Yes you are right.. we are talking about Atlético De Kolkata’s 3-2 win against the mighty Mumbai City FC at leg 1 of semi-finals!
ATK’s Playing XI still raised some eyebrows as it didn’t feature the lad who has mastery in providing assists, Abinash RuiDas, but those raised eyebrows (including mine) didn’t took too much of time to settle in as his replacement, Lalrindika Ralte slotted in the first goal of the semi finals at the very 3rd minute of the first half, but Mumbai City FC had to come back stronger and kept fighting for the ball possession and won a free kick shortly.. It was then MCFC Marquee, Diego Forlan taking the onus on himsslf and picking up the right man at the right place, Leo Costa from the free kick, who absolutely made no mistake and fired his right footed shot into the side nettings.. Rabindra Sarobar Stadium went absolutely on absolute Pin Drop silence, and it was now ATK 1-1 MUM! Few minutes later, Keegan and Jewel’s tag team effort gave another free kick to Mumbai and again stepped in Diego Forlan, again found the right man, Viera at the end of the free kick and soon ATK were trailing, ATK 1-2 MUM!
The home crowd was all stunned, some started to remember ATK’s performance in previous year’s Semi Final Leg 1. But it was all not over yet for ATK, stepped in the Canadian Superman, Iain Hume and soon levelled the score up from an absolutely pile-driver, and the soccer ball went past the kneeled down Mumbai City GK, Amrinder Singh. Few mins later, Doutie’s daunting run on the right flank found Helder Postiga, who was brought down by Sena Ralte in the D-box. The horror night continued for Amrinder as ATK’s talismanic striker, Iain Hume slotted in the penalty with an absolute belter. Score was 3-2, in favor of the First Champions.
Talking about Sena Ralte, he seemed to have quite a love affection with the Sri Lankan Referre, as he wasn’t sent off even after 4-5 rash/hard tackles. But ATK got its reward soon, and Mumbai City’s Marquee, Forlan was booked after a challenge on Sereno. ATK kept the position, even in the second half and kept attacking the goal post of Amrinder Singh. All this kept Forlan away from the ball, even when he got the possession, Jewel Raja‘s threatening runs took the ball away from him, and in came all the frustration from Diego Forlan as he kicked Jewel from behind and was sent off this time by the Sri Lankan referee. Should the referee’s decision be bit more flexible, Mumbai would have been down to just 8 or 9 men, considering Anwar’s needless harsh tackle on Abinash.
ATK will look to consolidate for the tickets to Kochi, as they come up against the same team on 13th December, but this time at the Mumbai Football Arena!
Throwing light on Semi Final Leg 2 game.. ATK is up by a solitary goal on aggregate, going into Tuesday’s match. ATK would be disappointed, having missed opportunities to convert goals, specially with Mumbai just down to 10 men, having said that.. ATK needs to concentrate on Tuesday’s game and put the final nail in the coffin.
Talking about 10 men, Mumbai City will be feeling the heat as Mr Marquee, Diego Forlam lost his cool and was sent off after his needless foul on Jewel Raja. Having said that, there has been games where Mumbai City FC missed Forlan, courtesy to injuries and surprisingly, Mumbai did came out on top of few games and tomorrow’s game could be no different, provided ATK gives enough opportunities to the likes of Sunil Chhetri, Matias Defederico, Sony Norde and Leo Costa to score.
Though, Team Atlético De Kolkata scored thrice in Semi Final Leg 1, It should also be kept in mind that they did concede two goals as well, courtesy to some loose defending and some excellent crosses from MCFC midfielders! The above lines also raise a concern on ATK’s strategy to play an overseas GK.. Tomorrow’s game might see Debjit Majumdar in Goal, as it will give ATK the liberty to play Sameehg and Lara/Pearson in the Same XI!
ATK’s defense still needs to pull up socks, as Mumbai City FC won’t need any second invitation to target ATK’s goal. Arnab’s presence in the Playing XI still looks bleak, having prompted this, ATK has the likes of Debnath, Prabir Das and Pritam Kotal, who won’t get any better chance to prove themselves.
All the above possibilities produce an excellent reason to glue up in front of the Television sets tomorrow, and in stadium, provided you stay in Mumbai! That’s all for this preview.. Hope you guys have a great day and keep the love flowing our way with hashtag #AamarBukeyATK! ⚽