Our last away game of 2017 ended on a positive note as we took home three points against Mumbai City FC while maintaining a clean sheet. The game saw Robbie Keane with the Captain armband and Ryan Taylor with his debut.
Our Starting XI lineup: Debjit Majumder, Prabir Das, Anwar Ali, Tom Thorpe, Ashutosh Mehta, Rupert Nongrum, Ryan Taylor, Conor Thomas, Zequinha, Robbie Keane and Robin Singh
Mumbai City FC kicked off the game with an attack from the right to left. It didn’t take long for our boys to get into action. Robin teamed up with Prabir to attack from the right, however, Prabir’s pass was timely intercepted. A few minutes later, we won a free kick and debutant, Ryan Taylor took the set-piece. His delivery landed in a dangerous area in sight of Keane but the skipper couldn’t convert from it. A foul on Zequinha by Sehnaj resulted in another free-kick, this time Jorda’s header almost found a way into the net for an own goal but it was his keeper who came to the rescue. As we crossed the first ten minutes, we had a better grip of the game. Talyor’s set-piece during the 17th minute found Tom who headed a shot towards Amrinder but the keeper’s dive to clear the danger did the job for the home side.
We entered the 20th minute with a chance at a goal. Zequinha made a pass to Nongrum; his touch was a little too heavy and Amrinder was quick to deny us a goal. What followed for the next few minutes was an attack by Keane as he paired up with his teammates to build an attack quite a numerous time; an alert Amrinder stood in the way.
The half hour mark witnessed our team holding slightly more possession of the ball as we continued with our play of attack. Nongrum’s tackle on Lucian Goian resulted in him getting booked for a yellow card offence. Zequinha caused a few nerve wrecking moves on the home defence, the most notable one being the one when he made a beautiful run from the left flank beating the home team but his attempt at taking a shot was brought to an end by Amrinder’s save. This only led to more of an attacking play from both sides as the two teams wanted to write down their name on the score sheet before the end of the first half.
Zequinha was quite a threat for the Mumbai City FC defence as he continued to trouble the defenders on the left, finding space and creating chances for his team. He whipped in another shot at the 41st minute but Lucian Goian headed it away.
The first half ended in a goalless draw with ATK standing as a more aggressive team.
We entered the second half of the game with the same team we started and it wasn’t until the 73rd minute that we made our first change with Shankar coming on for a limping Robin Singh. A slow start in the second half eventually led to a turn around when we scored the first goal during the 54th minute to take the lead.
The build-up started with Keane who made a quality cross to the Zequinha. The Portuguese made a run from the right flank towards the goal, crossed the ball in and Robin Singh tipped the ball past Amrinder, into the net and gave us the much deserved goal.
The home team didn’t sit back after conceding and tried to find their way back with Sehnaj and Sanju creating chances on the wings. Everton contributed with a cross to Balwant who headed in a shot but Debjit managed to block it; though he failed to keep the ball, our boys did well to clear it away from danger.
During the 70th minute of the game, Robin Singh was taken down just outside the box by Lucian who made a rough tackle that cost him a yellow card. However, Robin Singh limped away to the sidelines, the goal scorer received a loud cheer from the away stands. The frustration of the home players resulted in another yellow card for Achille Emana during the 75th minute for elbowing Zequinha.
The last ten minutes of regulated time showcased a mixed bowl of emotions from both sides with ATK trying to hold on to their lead and Mumbai City FC trying to find that goal. A lovely cross by Prabir forward lead to a missed opportunity for Jayesh who came on for Rupert, today was also the Mumbaikar’s debut for ATK. Our last substitution came at the 86th minute when Keane made way for Kuqi.
Six minutes was added to play - six minutes of play that was packed with action and our guardian in front of the goal post, made an important save, when he palmed away a forceful shot by Pranjal to deny an equaliser for the home team. Both sides made a few last attemptsl but it was ATK that emerged victorious - taking home three important points.
We return home this weekend to play Delhi Dynamos on the 23rd of December at 8 PM.