Creative midfielder Taisuke Matsugae scored a brilliant goal in stoppage time to help Mumbai FC…
After the glitz and glamour of the opening ceremony at the Salt Lake stadium, the Indian Super League, said to be the beginning of the great Indian football revolution kicked off with the first game between Atletico de Kolkata and Mumbai City FC to a packed house. The Kolkata team was led by former Liverpool player Luis Garcia while Mumbai was led by India defender Syed Rahim Nabi.
Feisty first half
The big news was regarding Anelka, who could not start the game as he was still serving his suspension for the “quenelle” gesture. It was Atletico de Kolkata who came up with the three points after a 3-0 win over Mumbai City FC thanks to goals from Fikru, Borja and Arnal. The excitement on the pitch came with some tough tackles coming in from the get go. Nabi was booked within a couple of minutes for a rough challenge and was lucky not to see a red card. Fikru was also booked for an overzealous challenge becoming the first Atletico de Kolkata player to see a yellow card.
It was Atletico who started well as Baljit Sahni had the first chance of the game 6 minutes in when he was through one on one with the goalkeeper Subrata Pal but the Mumbai keeper did well to keep him out. Pal kept Luis Garcia out with another brilliant save a couple of minutes later as Atletico kept piling on the pressure. After a spell of decent pressure from Mumbai, it was Fikru who scored for Atletico when he was played through for the first goal of the ISL in the 27th area and chipped the ball over the keeper and into the goal.
Mumbai’s first shot on goal came in the 31st minute from Cmovs which was saved by Atletico goalkeeper Roy Chowdhury. Mumbai were dealt a blow when their captain Nabi was stretchered off and substituted in the 40th minute.
Atletico finish the game off
The second half started with Mumbai looking to equalize and they brought on Moritz, who went close with a free kick that was just wide. Atletico de Kolkata sealed the game with a brilliant goal following some pin ball in the Mumbai City penalty box; the ball came out to the impressive Borja, who smashed the ball into the top left corner of the net with a sweet volley in the 69th minute.
Pal made another great save when Garcia crossed for Sahni, who headed the ball straight at the goalkeeper who kept the score 2-0. The closest Mumbai came to scoring was when Cmovs struck the ball from outside the box and it took a deflection off Josemi and Roy came up with a brilliant reflex save to deny Mumbai. Roy was called into action again as he saved a header from the German Manuel Friedrich.
Kolkata finished the game off with a third goal from Arnal. The ball was crossed in by Fikru with the substitute Arnal scoring in the 92nd minute. Atletico de Kolkata were top from the first whistle and they deserved the win while Mumbai will hope to do better when the duo of Ljungberg and Anelka return to the squad.
Following the end of the match, various awards were given out wihich were: Swift moment on the pitch – Fikru Teferra, Fittest player of the match – Denzil Franco, ISL Emerging player of the match – Subhasish Roy Chowdhury and Hero of the match – Borja Fernandez.