Mumbai City FC bounced back from their three consecutive defeats, as they beat Atletico de Kolkata 2-1 in their 13th round Indian Super League match in Mumbai.
The win helped the struggling side to move to the seventh position in the eight-team league and with 15 points, they kept their hopes of making it to the semi-final alive.
Mumbai, playing their last home game, showed the intent to win right from their start and dominated the proceedings early on.
Midfielder Lalrindika Ralte broke the deadlock in the 40th minute when his left-foot shot found the net after Tiago Ribeiro set it up perfectly for him.
The Sourav Ganguly co-owned side drew level 20 minutes later when substitute Baljit Sahni slotted it home. Taking a free-kick, skipper Luis Garcia made a short pass to Borja Fernandez, who set it for Sahni.
The Punjab player had come in just four minutes earlier in place of Rakesh Masih. The Peter Reid coached-side took the lead once again in the 76th minute when Manuel Friedrich headed the ball from a well executed free-kick from Ralte.
The hosts missed a golden opportunity in the 68th minute when Abhishek Yadav was caught napping inside the box and delayed taking a shot, allowing the defender to clear the ball to safety.
ATK too had a good chance in the 70th minute when Josemi took a terrific free-kick but Mumbai custodian Subrata Paul saved it as he came up with an acrobatic effort.
The final few minutes were anxious for both the sides as ATK found the net in the last minute of injury time but it was ruled as off-side.
Desperately seeking a win to keep their hopes alive of making it to the semi-final, Mumbai played an attacking style of football and showed urgency in their passes right from the start.
The visitors had a chance in the 4th minute when Borja Fernandez’s shot went wide after Mohammad Rafi had set the ball from the edge of the box.
The hosts too had an opportunity in the very next minute when Nicolas Anelka’s attempt was thwarted by ATK custodian Edel Bete.
The home side was jolted in the 14th minute when skipper Syed Rahim Nabi pulled his hamstring and was stretchered out.
Anelka then tried a long ranger in the 21st minute but it was gahered comfortably by Cameroonian goalkeeper. In the injury time of first half, Ethiopian striker Fikru Teferra’s shot went wide, denying the visitors an opportunity to equalise.
The 28 year then made a run into the box in the 47th minute but Czech defender Pavel Cmvos stopped him with a good tackle.
Mumbai too came close to extending their first-half lead in 51st minute when Asif Kottayil, who came in as a substitute for Nabi, hit a superb long range shot but it hit the post.
Abhishek Yadav’s backward header off a free-kick was well saved by Bete in the 82nd minute, as the goalkeeper got his finger tips to push the ball above the crossbar.
In the do-or-die match, Mumbai were aggressive in not just controlling the ball but in their tackles too.
Three players were yellow carded in the first half for their rough play. Jan Stohanzl was yellow-carded in the 18th minute for kicking Biswajit Saha, while Dika got one in the 31st minute for committing a foul on ATK skipper Luis Garcia.
Abhishek Yadav got one in the 35th minute for kicking Arnab Mondal. From the visitors, Ofentse Nato got the yellow card in the 86th minute, while Mumbai’s Kottayil got one in the injury time.