ISL IX: 10-man ATK Mohun Bagan make a point
A 10-man ATK Mohun Bagan came back twice to hold Mumbai City 2-2 in what probably was the best match of the ongoing ISL at the Mumbai Football Arena on Sunday.
Lallianzuala Chhangte’s screamer in the fourth minute was nullified by Joni Kauko’s deflected equaliser three minutes into the second half. Rostyn Griffiths put the hosts in front again in the 72nd minute before Carl McHugh scored four minutes after coming on in the 89th minute.
The Islanders started on the front foot as Chhangte put the hosts in front after just four minutes. The winger cut inside from the left flank and unleashed a ferocious strike. The ball came off the underside of the crossbar and bounced inside the goalline.
Three minutes later, the crossbar rattled yet again, but this one came at the other end. Dimitri Petratos curled a beautiful cross in from the right flank, and Liston Colaco got his head on it. Unfortunately for ATK Mohun Bagan, the ball hit the woodwork and stayed out.
Moments before the halftime whistle, Bipin Singh pounced on a stray ball inside the box. The winger’s powerful strike was palmed away by Vishal Kaith at the near post.
The Mariners levelled the score early in the second half. Rahul Bheke intercepted Boumous’ cross, but it fell to Manvir Singh, who squared it to Joni Kauko. The Finnish midfielder’s strike picked up a deflection off Mehtab Singh before hitting the back of the net.
In the 72nd minute, the hosts took the lead again. Ahmed Jahouh crossed the ball in from the left flank before Griffiths’ header deflected off the crossbar and hung above goal. Griffiths beat Kaith as it came down and nodded the Islanders into the lead.
Things went from bad to worse for the Mariners as halftime substitute Lenny Rodrigues was sent off for an off-theball offence on Greg Stewart in the 75th minute.
The Mariners restored parity in the 89th minute. Petratos’ cross from a free-kick was headed into the net by substitute McHugh just four minutes after coming on. The Irishman’s first goal in three years snatched a crucial point for ATK Mohun Bagan.
The draw takes Mumbai City FC to nine points. ATK Mohun Bagan are now fifth on the table, level on points with Chennaiyin FC. They next face NorthEast United at home on Thursday.