ISL: Mumbai keep playoffs hopes alive with 2-1 win over ATK

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Kolkata, Feb 18 (IANS) Mumbai City FC kept their playoffs hopes alive with a 2-1 win over hapless ATK who were handed their fifth defeat at home this Indian Super League (ISL) season at the Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan on Sunday.

Marcio Rozario (32nd minute) and Rafa Jorda (53rd minute) scored their first ever ISL goals on either side of a Bipin Singh (47th minute) strike as the Kolkata side handed Mumbai City a fresh lease of life.

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 Jorda.

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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 halftime 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 Singh leveled 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.

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It looked Mumbai City FC would 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 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.

–IANS

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