Mumbai City FC and Atletico de Kolkata fought for the first ISL 2016 Finals berth at the Mumbai Football Arena in the second leg of Semi-Finals. Atletico de Kolkata had the upper hand due to their 3-2 win against the host in the 1st leg and Mumbai City entered the game with nothing to lose but everything to gain.

With an aggregate score of 3-2 in favor of Atletico de Kolkata, the visitors just had to defend their post in order to play the finals.

As expected, Mumbai City kick-started the game with aggressive attacking and the got their first chance at an opener in the 6th minute when Lucian Goian played a through pass towards Sunil Chhetri in the box and the skipper went to score his first goal of the season. However, Debjit Majumder anticipated his shot and sent the ball away.

Sunil Chhetri
Image Courtesy: ISL

Atletico de Kolkata players were trying hard to attack the opposition but their game was all about long shots at the middle and front. However, Kolkata’s defense was doing an excellent job by keeping the ball away from Defederico and Chhetri.

Atletico de Kolkata got their first chance in the 27th minute when Lara found an open Ruidas but the winger’s shot was cleared by Mumbai’s defense. The back and forth game continued throughout the first half and Atletico de Kolkata had the aggregate lead of 3-2 at the half time whistle.

Within a minute of the restart, Sony Norde tried to give Mumbai an opening when the forward cut from the left and attempted a right-footed shot at the goalpost. However, Debjit Majumder had nothing to worry about as the shot went wide of the post.

Matias Defederico didn’t let the momentum down and got hold of the ball in the very next minute. The Mumbai forward marched towards the opposition’s goal post but Majumder again blocked the shot, much to home crowd’s dismay.

Atletico de Kolkata turned the tables and initiated an all out attack on the hosts. Javi Lara tackled Sena Ralte on the right and shot a good cross towards Juan Belencoso, however, the latter failed to read the cross and Kolkata lost another opportunity to score the opener.

Image Courtesy: ISL

Mumbai City players were doing everything to not let Atletico de Kolkata take the lead but visitors were regressively attacking their post and in the 76th minute, Lara attempted a free-kick from the right but Stephen Pearson successfully blocked it inside the box. Defederico came back with the ball in Mumbai’s box, six minutes later and aimed the ball towards the post, however, the shot went wide due to the long range.

It was Mumbai City’s turn to attack as the hosts were seeing a lot of ball in the remaining moments of the match. However, Atletico de Kolkata’s stubborn resistance led the game towards a goalless draw.

Atletico de Kolkata
Image Courtesy: ISL

With Atletico de Kolkata having the aggregate advantage of 3-2, they have claimed a berth in ISL 2016 finals with Mumbai City ending their run in front of the home crowd.

The second finalist will be decided in the next match between Kerala Blasters and Delhi Dynamos with Kerala Blasters having the aggregate advantage of 1-0.

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14 December 2016
Rohan Jaitly

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