Atletico de Kolkata down Mumbai City FC 3-0 in opener
Kolkata, October 12
Atletico de Kolkata opened the Indian Super League (ISL) 2014 campaign with a comfortable 3-0 victory over Mumbai City FC at the Salt Lake Stadium on Sunday evening. The home side dominated most of the game and got the goals from Fikru Teferra Lemessa, Borja Fernandez and Arnal Llibert.
Mumbai City FC, co-owned by Ranbir Kapoor, kicked-off the match with Kolkata lad Syed Rahim Nabi captaining Peter Reid’s side, who were on the back foot right from the start. The 28-year-old skipper was the first player to get into the referee’s books after committing a dangerous lunge in the second minute of the match. Atletico dominated and were the first to register a shot on target when Baljit Sahni was sent behind the away side’s defence in the sixth minute by Luis Garcia. But Subrata Paul came out quickly and blocked the number 6 from beating him so early in the game.The Kolkata-based outfit kept coming back and finally broke the deadlock in the 28th minute when Fikru Lemessa was sent clear on goal by Borja Fernandez. The 28-year-old Ethiopian kept his composure to chip the ball over the onrushing Paul; much to the delight of the home crowd. Atletico continued to press on as more yellow cards followed for players of both teams.
Peter Reid was already without Freddie Ljungberg and Nicolas Anelka and suffered fresh blow blow in the 38th minute when skipper Nabi had to be stretchered out with an ankle injury. Nadong Bhutia took his place on field but couldn’t conjure anything special. Diego Nadya won a free-kick just before the half-time whistle and also took the free-kick in hope to equalise. The Argentinean could only find the wall as the ball was cleared and the referee blew for half-time.
Andre Mortiz, MCFC’s latest signing was brought on in place of the ineffective Tiago Ribeiro at the break and the Brazil-born midfielder looked to make an immediate impact in the second-half. The former Crystal Palace and Bolton Wanderers midfielder delivered a tempting cross towards the danger area for Bhutia; who was out muscled by Josemi.
Players of teh Mumbai-based club searched for the equaliser with Nadaya and Jan Stohanzl trying their luck in vain. The game saw a second goal in the 69th minute and it was Fernandez this time with an absolute scorcher of a goal from 25-yards out. The former Real Madrid player chested down a poor clearance from Mumbai City FC’s defence and lashed the ball beyond Paul’s reach to double Atletico’s lead.
Mumbai tried to get something back from a corner kick after it was cleared with Manuel Friedrich looking to pull a goal back for his team. But his header was caught well by Subhashish Roy Chowdhury, who was nothing short of brilliant in Atletico goal.