ISL: Forlan sends Mumbai City FC to top
Kolkata, Oct 25 (IANS) Mumbai City FC notched up their third win of the season, courtesy a second-half goal from marquee player Diego Forlan, as hosts Atletico de Kolkata (ATK) suffered the first defeat of their Indian Super League (ISL) football campaign here on Tuesday.
The result saw Mumbai go top of the table with 11 points from seven matches while ATK slipped a position to third, on nine points from six games.
Forlan scored his second goal of the tournament in the 79th minute off a Sony Norde pass infront of France football legend Thierry Henry who was in attendance.
ATK were coming off a win against Delhi Dynamos and were playing their second consecutive home game. ATK coach Jose Molina drafted in Stephen Pearson, Abinash Ruidas, Arnab Mondal, Javi Lara and Robert Lalthlamuana into the squad.
Mumbai FC suffered a shock defeat against FC Goa in their last game and made several changes with Anwar Ali, Sehnaj Singh, Cafu, Gerson and Albino Gomes coming into the side. Influential striker Matias Defederico, Pronay Haldar and Leo Costa were all missing due to niggles.
In a packed Rabindra Sarobar Stadium, it was the away side that unlocked the Kolkata defence in the eighth minute.
Cafu and Forlan combined effortlessly outside the box before setting up Sony Norde down the left flank. The Haitian chested the ball well but his left footed effort missed the goal by a whisker.
With Cafu and Forlan controlling the match, Atletico were left frustrated with striker Sameehg Doutie kept in check by Sena Ralte.
In the 25th minute, ATK midfielder Javi Lara was awarded a free-kick from about 25 yards but he failed to hit the target.
In the 33rd minute, Mumbai defender Sena Ralte made a bucaneering run and sent in a good ball into the box, which fell to Norde who was lurking just inside the box. But Norde’s effort though was tipped over by ATK goalkeeper Debjit Majumder.
Both sides went into the break goalless.
Much against the run of play, the visitors took the lead in the 79th minute when Forlan struck the ball into the roof of the net after Norde did well to set him up from inside the box albeit off a deflection. Debjit was at fault as he could have done better with his tame effort to block the ball.
In the dying minutes of the match, Lara got a free-kick from the edge of the box but Mumbai goalkeeper Albino Gomes parried his effort away.