Vibrant Mumbai City humbles ATK on the Road: The Talking Points

Rohit Ganguly  |  Indian Super League  |  1 Year Ago

Mumbai logged full points as they went on to win their much-needed away encounter against ATK in the latter’s backyard. Despite putting up a valiant display against an indifferent Mumbai in bits and scraps, the hosts failed to make inroads against a resolute Mumbai rearguard.


Mumbai drew first blood against the wind of the play after Marcio Rozario scored from a free-kick to give the much-needed first goal to the visitors. It was a sloppy effort from Poirei, the ATK custodian who conceded a goal at his first post, which will be chagrin for any goalkeeper in the world on any given day.


Not being dented by this goal from the visitors, ATK doubled their efforts and their salvo paid off handsome dividends after Bipin Singh restored parity in the very beginning of the second-half. Thomas Connor laid a through ball as fine as Muslin to Bipin who calmly slotted the ball home thereby drawing things level.


However, this joy was not to be celebrated for longer by the home side as Rafa Jorda headed home from a corner, restoring Mumbai’s lead and thereby dashing any further hopes of ATK stealing away a point from this dead rubber.


We will take a quick glance at those pointers which impinged the game despite it being a drab affair mostly.

Despite, it was a victory for Mumbai, the game was completely a drab affair on the pitch 

Both the teams seemed to lack the zeal to do something very categorical on the pitch. With all the diligence in the midfield and with all the ingredients present to spice this game up, the finishing-third on both the ends seemed to lack much action. 


The teams were content in unleashing a few high-flyers, probable good headers, and even a few build-ups only to be squandered in the face of the goal.



Ryan Taylor played a pivotal role for the hosts as he whipped in several crosses and released delectable through balls for the ATK players to polish-off. However, ATK seemed to wallow in some ineffable apathy from which they even failed to probe the Mumbai custodian much.


Things weren’t much different in case of Mumbai either. Barring a couple of goals, both of which came from dead-ball situations, Mumbai’s firepower failed badly. 


Santos and Jorda tried probing Poirei with a few powerful shots but there was no sting at all in those shots to bedevil Poirei who was comfortable enough in today’s game. 


Emana showed stellar character in his new role as a central attacking midfielder and led several passes for the Mumbai strikers to skelp at.


However, with all this perseverance and belligerence outside the penalty box, the team seemed to be absolutely emaciated inside the box. Wayward headers, watery shots and a few direct pokes at the goalkeeper exposed the skeleton of Mumbai attackers.

Gerson was too strong to be breached by the depleted Kolkata side

Kolkata was already depleted before they even came into this game and played half of their games with almost their second-string set. 


After losing the likes of Robbie Keane and Zequinha quite early in the tournament, Kolkata had to head to this battle with half their side sidelined with injuries. However, the team actually did put up a decent show, spearheaded by Ryan Taylor.


There were several coups made by the Kolkata outfit against the likes of Mumbai. Right since the outset of the game, Kolkata announced their intentions. They notched up an early corner as early as in the 3rd minute of the game. This was the result of Gerson thwarting a substantial effort from Paterson.


Gerson was again instrumental after waylaying a header from Caldeira and laying off a counter-attack for Mumbai despite the move seemed to fizzle out in the midline.


Bipin Singh, the goal-scorer for Kolkata, tried to whip in a cross for an onrushing Paterson on the 15th-minute mark, but Gerson slid in with a desperate dive to clear the danger in their box.


Gerson emulated the same move in lockstep which he did just five minutes back. Bipin Singh curled in another delightful cross for Taylor to probe Amrinder. However, before Taylor could have reached it, Gerson made the fullest use of his height to clear the lines emphatically.


The duel between Bipin Singh and Gerson was turning out into an intriguing vie. Bipin Singh took another shot at the goal in the dying embers of the first-half but was refuted by Gerson for the third time as the Brazilian defender blocked his shot again.


In the dying embers of the game, ATK almost restored parity after Ryan Taylor slammed a delectable free-kick but the ball smote the woodwork and Gerson rose above all to clear the lines.


He was one impregnable bulwark, which ATK failed to breach despite all of their pyrotechnics detonating at their utmost potential.

The battle of the midfield was indeed one of the best ones to witness as the tournament is heading to its business end

Both the contingencies tried really hard to hold sway in the midfield. ATK took control of the center early in the game, thanks to Ryan Taylor. Taylor played exactly as a link between the ATK defence and its attacking midfield. Alongside Taylor, it was delightful to watch Paterson and Keegan Pereira making those blistering runs. To add a cherry to their attacking cake, young Bipin Singh exhibited character and resolve to run incessantly against the Mumbai defence.


These runs harrowed Mumbai for most of the game as they seemed to be poleaxed by the sudden rigor of Kolkata’s game. Interminable numbers of crosses deluged their penalty box and Amrinder seemed to be taking constant fire from the Kolkata attackers. This was all because Kolkata displayed brilliant resolve in the midfield.


With all of Kolkata’s heroics in the midfield, Mumbai was ready with a counterblast of tantamount potential. With Zakeer Mundampara, Sehnaj Singh, Emana and Rafa in their midfield, Mumbai seemed to work wonders.


Sehnaj Singh was shouldered with the onus of snatching the ball from Kolkata in the midline. Despite lacking the speed to reach few of the through-balls, Sehnaj redeemed himself with a very hardy display in the midline.


He cast himself in the line of the balls that went past the other players in the midfield. He was even booked after shoving himself into the body of Jayesh Rane. Despite that was a sloppy challenge, Sehnaj was there on the pitch right until the end of the game and saw off Kolkata’s flight of fancy.


Rafa, Emana, and Zakeer exchanged several passes thereby leaving Kolkata dazed and confused. To add to Kolkata’s scourge, Everton Santos laid his teeth bare of his various range of shots,  thereby probing Poirei with each of his eclectic pile-driver.


Only if there would have been ample goals in the game, it could have clearly voiced out the delectable battle waged in the midfield by the two sides.

Westwood’s proclivity for Poirei is costing him dearly

Despite Debjit Mazumdar’s sloppy misses, the strapping lad, who ushered Kolkata to glory in the precursor edition of ISL, was imperative enough to make a few eye-dazzling saves. However, given the fact that Poirei is younger and still needs a lot of experience to match the likes of Debjit, the football canon may go easy on him.


However, the howlers made by Poirei are way too many and are letting in goals against Kolkata. For instance, today’s both the goals were because of his poor positioning.


He conceded the first goal of the night when Marcio Rosario unleashed a powerful free-kick after Rafa Jorda was upended by Anwar Ali just at the edge of the box. 


Marcio powered a brilliant free-kick across the wall made by ATK but the shot took a curl. Poirei was stationed at the center of the goal-line and was unable to reach the ball which went past him into the first post. The basic of goalkeeping teaches you to angle yourself slightly diagonally at the wall. However, when Poirei chose to take the center of the line, and once Rosario had ample power and curl in the ball, there was no stopping it.


The second goal of the night for Mumbai came from another dead ball situation after Sanju Pradhan curled in a corner and Rafa headed it home from an outstretched hand of a desperately diving Poirei.


Poirei should have charged down the pitch in an attempt to collect the ball before Rafa could have made contact. However, Rafa got a free header and eased the ball past a hapless Poirei. 


With all hopes of making into the top four being snuffed out already, Westwood may resort back to his primary custodian, Debjit Mazumdar in the remaining games.


The goals are all, that we relished

The sole silver-lining of the drab game was the three brilliant goals which were scored. The goal-fest was spawned by Rosario after he blasted a free kick into the bottom-left corner of the net. The shot had some menacing curl laced with some tremendous power. The wall seemed to be a dead piece of an edifice as they were left transfixed to the spot, haplessly watching Rosario articulating his exhilaration. 


The second goal came when Bipin Singh, the high-soaring youngster, the sole exploit from this year’s ISL campaign of ATK, rose up to the occasion to amplify ATK’s efforts in the field. 


Connor Thomas squared off an onrushing Bipin Singh with a lovely through ball which the latter latched onto adeptly and rounded off Amrinder Singh to slot the ball home calmly. With almost empty stands for grabs, whatever onlookers turned up for the game, they broke into an ineffable joy, hoping for their team to script a comeback. 


Just when everyone was hoping that ATK would stage a full-scale retaliation, Rafa Jorda dashed all hopes of any resurgence from the hosts.


Jorda played Tavora on the left plank, who did a decent job in whipping a lovely cross down the left, however, Anwar Ali traded it for a corner. The ensuing corner was whipped in by Sanju Pradhan. Pradhan’s in-swinging corner was met well by Rafa Jorda who rose up to the occasion and headed the ball home past a diving Poirei, thereby dashing all hopes of a comeback from the hosts.


There was a final chance of ATK making amends when Ryan Taylor whipped in a peach of a free-kick in the dying embers of the game but much to his disappointment the shot ricocheted off the woodwork and Kolkata’s joys ricocheted off the empty stands in Yubabharati Krirangan.


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