Mumbai City FC and ATK shared the spoils after a tight encounter at the Mumbai Football Arena. The Islanders registered their fourth consecutive clean sheet along with staying in the top 4 of the ISL 2018/19 table.
Football returned to the Arena after a long wait of 28 days. The last time the Islanders played at the very same venue, they won 2-0 and that kick started the 4-match unbeaten run. There were plenty of familiar faces in the ATK side that returned to face their former side.
The game started a very slow pace. ATK had the first shot on goal from a Manuel Lanzarote free-kick that didn’t cause any trouble to Amrinder Singh. The first real chance for the home side fell to Sehnaj Singh but his shot from distance flew wide off Arindam’s goal.
The next passage of play saw both sides trying their luck from distance. The tempo of the game didn’t pick much in the next between till the half an hour mark with the sides looking to take control of the game and scoring the all-important opening goal.
With a little less than 10 minutes left in the first half, Paulo Machado showed some individual brilliance as he twisted and turned on the edge of the box before delivering a teasing cross into the box but it fell in no man’s land. In the next minute, Subhasish found himself unmarked in the box but his weak foot effort went gazing over the bar. The scores were leveled up after 45 minutes of action.
Machado got the first half chance to open the scoring in the second half. A header from Rafael Bastos set it up well for him but his first time volley was blocked former Islander Gerson Vieira. The biggest chance of the night fell to Bastos, he won the ball down the left side before cutting inside and unleashing a shot but went off target.
ATK came close to opening the goal scoring when Gerson met Lanzarote’s free-kick but his header went just over the goal. There was a clash of heads between Lucian Goian and Gerson with both the defenders going for the ball. Bandages were used on their heads to stop the bleeding and resume the game after a stoppage in the game.
Hero of the Match, Subhasish Bose tested Arindam with a shot out from 30 yards. His left footed effort took off well but the ATK goalkeeper made a good save, tipping the ball over the bar. Both sides made regular changes in the last 30 minutes of the game with the hope of the fresh legs doing the job.
With 2 minutes of normal time to be played, Modou Sougou went down in the box and the players appealed for a penalty which was waived away by the referee. A good defensive performance from both sides but the attacking unit didn’t show much magic to lighten up the game and rightly both teams earned a point from the encounter.
The Islanders have a 9-day break before taking on Delhi Dynamos away from home on December 3 at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium.