2016 Indian Super League, 2016 Indian Super League
  • Diego Forlán (79')

Forlan goal helps Mumbai go top as Kolkata suffer first defeat


Diego Forlan's 79th minute goal ended Atletico de Kolkata's unbeaten run in the ISL and took Mumbai City FC to the top of the ISL table following a tight 1-0 win at the Rabindra Sarobar Stadium in Kolkata on Tuesday.

Forlan's second ISL goal also helped Mumbai end a run of four games without a win, as they took all three points after gaining just two from their last four in only their third win of the season.

Former Arsenal and Barcelona striker Thierry Henry was also in attendance in an open game that saw plenty of chances at either end and some outstanding saves by both goalkeepers.

Both teams made five changes for the game. ATK brought in Javi Lara in place of Juan Belencoso, while MCFC's joint top-scorer Defederico missed out due to injury. Otacilio Brito Alves, known as Cafu, replaced Defederico and Gerson replaced the injured Pronoy Halder as a holding midfielder for Mumbai.

The best chance of the first half came in the 33rd minute when Sony Norde was denied by a diving Debjit, who pulled off one of the saves of the tournament. Norde's powerful shot was heading towards the top right corner when Debjit dove to his left and got his right hand up on time to tip the ball over.

Mumbai dominated the opening exchanges as Forlan, Cafu and Norde used quick, one-touch football to launch attacks, but Tiri and Arnab Mondal remained solid at the back to avert all danger.

For Atletico, Doutie was the biggest attacking threat on the right flank, but Mumbai left-back Lalhmangaihsanga Ralte marked him well through much of the first half. Doutie's best chance came in the 23rd minute when he was put through by Iain Hume on the left hand side of the box. The South African winger slipped before getting a shot away and Mumbai cleared.

Cafu, Norde and Javi Lara all had a go in the first half, and both goalkeepers were often called into action. While Debjit pulled off yet another good save to deny Norde, Gomes dove to his left to save Lara's curling shot from the edge of the box to keep it 0-0 at half time.

Atletico made a change at the break with Bidyananda Singh replacing Abhinas Ruidas, which forced Doutie to shift to the left wing for a while. The hosts started the second half on the front foot, but had to be cautious as Norde remained a threat on the counter.

The game sprang to life in the 60th minute with chances at both ends. Norde's chipped pass to Krisztian Vadocz was well collected by Debjit. Seconds later, Doutie had a chance at the other end, but a Lucian Goian challenge kept the scores level. Goian had an excellent game alongside keeper Albino Gomes, who had a few nervy moments, but was solid whenever called into action.

Sony Norde beat two Atletico defenders on the left flank, and put in a cross that hit Prabir Das before falling to Diego Forlan five yards from goal in the 79th minute. Forlan took a first touch before smashing it into the roof of the net with his left foot to put Mumbai ahead.

Atletico launched a series of attacks in the last ten minutes in search for an equalizer. Hume came close in the 85th minute when Javi Lara's free-kick almost met his head. In the last minute of added time, Javi Lara had a free-kick about 25 yards away from goal saved by Albino Gomes to hand the home side their first loss of the season. In the end, the Mumbai defence held on to take home all three points.