ATK overwhelm Pune City 4-1, qualify for ISL semis

Kolkata, Nov 27 (IANS) A hat-trick from Canadian striker Iain Hume not only gave three points to Atletico de Kolkata (ATK) but also ensured a semi-final berth for the defending champions as they beat FC Pune City 4-1 in an Indian Super League (ISL) match at the Salt Lake stadium here on Friday.

Hume scored in the ninth, 47th and the 83rd minutes to complete his second hat-trick of the edition while Serbian striker Dejan Lekic added another in injury time. Adrian Mutu pulled a consolation goal back for the visitors in the 86th minute.

With the win Atletico remain atop the standings with 23 points from 13 games whereas Pune are still sixth on the points table with 15 points from 12 outings.

Kolkata were all over Pune from the first minute and created a lot of scoring chances.

The first real chance came to ATK as Arata Izumi was through on goal with only the goalkeeper to beat but the Japanese born Indian forward failed to control the ball.

But Hume made up for Izumi’s miss by getting on the scoresheet and giving his side an early lead. It was Izumi, however, who darted past a few defenders to square it for his Canadian teammate. Hume then calmly placed it into an unguarded net, bringing the near capacity crowd to their feet.

Pune tried finding quick answers to the one-goal deficit but somehow all their efforts were losing steam midway. In the 23rd minute the visitors came close as their marquee and former Chelsea forward Mutu unleashed a lethal left footer, but his shot rattled the post and was cleared away.

ATK’s South African medio Sameegh Doutie, who has been in brilliant form of late, was once again proving to be a menace for the opposition defence. One of Doutie’s crosses found its way into the six-yard area but evaded the likes of Borja Fernandes and Hume and was somehow cleared away.

Mutu had his moment again just before the end of the first half, but his powerful strike from a free-kick was thwarted by a diving Amrinder Singh as ATK led 1-0 at the half-time.

It was a bright start for Atletico in the second half as Hume once again found the back of the net, but this time with a sharp bicycle kick. The assist came from skipper Borja who sent in a delightful little chip for the bald-headed marksman with the outside of his right boot.

Jolted, Pune tried coming back into the contest, and it was Mutu again who tried to add some spark with a shot. The ball fell awkwardly for Amrinder and hit the woodwork, before being booted out of danger.

Pune, however, did not let go of their momentum and kept on attacking but every time they would strike at the ATK citadel, Amrinder stood like a wall to save them.

A few minutes later at the other end of the pitch, Hume completed his hat-trick with another tap in. It was Doutie who provided with the assist.

Mutu, for all his efforts was rewarded with a goal in the 86th minute.

Lekic then found his first goal of the season for ATK with a solo effort to add to the visitors woes.

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