Mumbai City FC keep playoff hopes alive with win over ATK
Kolkata, Feb 18 (PTI) Mumbai City FC kept alive their playoffs hopes as they got the better of defending champions ATK 2-1 in an Indian Super League (ISL) match here today.
Marcio Rozario (32th minute) and Rafa Jorda (53') scored their first ever ISL goals on either side of a Bipin Singh (47') strike as the Kolkata side provided Mumbai City FC a new lease of life.
The defeat -- their fifth at home this season -- at the Salt Lake Stadium meant ATK are now winless in their last six games.
Alexandre Guimarães' side needed all three points from the game and his side came up with the goods. While the win didn't help Mumbai City FC improve their position in the league table but it kept their hopes alive.
The Islanders now have 20 points from 15 games, and still have a chance of making it into the top four.
After a sluggish start to the game, Rozario brought the game to life with a spectacular freekick goal at the half-hour mark to give Mumbai City FC the lead.
Bipin Singh then equalised for Ashley Westwood's side early in the second half but the visitors regained their lead minutes later through Rafa Jorda.
ATK dominated the early exchanges in the game but Anwar Ali's needless push on Rafa Jordan on the edge of his own box provided Rozario the opportunity to have a strike on goal, and he punished ATK for it. The midfielder curled the ball into the top right-hand corner of the goal despite goalkeeper Soram Poirie's best efforts.
The visitors defended their lead well till the half time but after the restart, it didn't take ATK much time to get back into the game. Just two minutes into the second phase of play, Bipin levelled the scoreline for the home side. The goal came after a spell of good play by ATK in the opposition half.
Conor Thomas, who up till then had a quiet night picked up Singh with a delightful defense-splitting pass and he put the ball through MCFC goalkeeper Amrinder Singh's legs and into the goal.
It looked Mumbai City FC will have to go away disappointed from Kolkata but just barely minutes after having conceded, Mumbai City was celebrating at the other end. In the 52nd minute, a corner from the left was partially cleared by ATK defense. Sanju Pradhan put the ball back into the danger area and Rafa Jorda was on hand for Mumbai City FC to glance the ball into far corner of the goal.
Then in the added time, Ryan Taylor almost broke Mumbai City FC hearts with a free-kick that came back off the bar