(Image Credits : ISL)
Atletico de Kolkata Vs. Mumbai City FC :
The lone goal in the match was scored by Robin Singh in the 54th minute when he stretched his foot out to get the faintest of touches to a superb tangential cross delivered from the left wing by the speedy Zequinha.
The visitors, winless with two defeats and two draws coming into the game, then survived a late onslaught by the home side, who were outplayed in the opening half, to emerge triumphant.
The victory also lifted ATK from the bottom of the table to the eighth spot with five points to their credit while Mumbai City, who suffered their first defeat this season at home, were in fifth spot with 7 points.
MCFC next take on North East United in an away game on December 20 while ATK will face Delhi Dynamos at home on December 23.
The visitors’ head coach Teddy Sheringham made five changes to the team’s starting eleven and the inclusion of 33-year-old former Newcastle United player Ryan Taylor made a significant change to the attack.
In between these actions, yellow cards were shown to Abhinash Ruidas of Mumbai City and Nongrum.
Towards the late stages of the half came a few good moves by Mumbai City and off one of these Balwant headed over the bar from close.
The game became scrappy after the goal by Robin Singh gave ATK the lead with five more players being booked by the referee and the list included Taylor and defender Lucian Goian and Achille Ebana of Mumbai City, who was largely invisible in the opening half and came into his own in the latter half.
In injury time, Balwant also headed over the bar from close range much to the chagrin of the hosts.
Chennaiyin FC Vs. Bengaluru FC :
Jeje Lalpekhlua and Dhanapal Ganesh helped Chennaiyin FC to pull off a thrilling 2-1 victory over Bengaluru FC in an ISL match at Sree Kanteerava Stadium in Bengaluru.
Jeje slammed the ball home past a hapless Gurpreet after the ball deflected off the BFC defender just five minutes into the match.
Bengaluru skipper Sunil Chhetri equalised for the hosts in the 85th minute but in 88th minute Ganesh sealed the hosts’ fate with a brilliant header off Rene Mihelic floater.
With this loss, Bengaluru are relegated to second position on the points-table with 12 points of six games. Chennaiyin garnered three points and are placed third with FC Pune taking the fourth position with nine points in six games.
The hosts had good chances to score off Bheke and Miku’s headers, in extra time but Chennaiyin goalkeeper Karanjit did well to stave off the danger.
In 86th minute, Chhetri was furious over poor officiating by Rakitm Saha who did not award a free-kick to him after being brought down by Henrique Sereno on the run.
Bengaluru looked a shadow of their usual self in the game which witnessed more dramatics, fouls and rough tackles than football.
Goal-scorer Ganesh was handed a yellow card after a major scuffle in the pitch. Chennaiyin players were angry over not getting the ball back when the play resumed after Sereno’s injury.
The hosts were also hit by poor on-field officiating. Chhetri was not happy that the referee stopped the game for a foul against him in the first half. The skipper, who set up an attack, reckoned it was Alves who fell a bit too easily.
Chennaiyin were unlucky in 22nd minute to be awarded a penalty after referee Raktim Saha failed to notice Khabra knocking down Jeje with his elbow as he leapt on top of him to shield the incoming ball inside the box.
Chennaiyin could have romped home the second goal, but due to Jude’s slackening run into the box gave ample time for Khabra to clear the ball to safety of a well-timed tackle.