Atlético de Kolkata started off their campaign in the Hero Indian Super League with a bang by trouncing Mumbai City FC by a 3-0 margin at the Salt Lake Stadium here tonight. Ethiopian striker Fikru Teferra Lemessa (27’), Borja Fernández (69’) and substitute Arnal Llibert in stoppage time got onto the scoresheet for the winners.
The contest got off to a heated start with tackles coming in hard and fast, Mumbai City FC skipper Syed Rahim Nabi being booked for a malicious tackle on Biswajit Saha in the 2nd minute. The match continued in the same vein for Mumbai’s nervous defence, with keeper Subrata Paul being called on a couple of occasions to deny the home side the chance to be the first team on the score-sheet. But Mumbai couldn’t keep Kolkata out for long, as Lemessa latched onto a well-timed through-ball, just minutes after receiving a yellow-card from referee Christopher Penso, and cheekily chipped it over the onrushing Paul from outside the box, to go down in the history books as the first goal-scorer in the ISL.
Experienced Spanish midfielder Fernandez then doubled the lead for the hosts with a stunning goal, latching onto a poor clearance from the Mumbai defence and thumping the ball into the far corner past the hapless Paul. Llibert, who came in as a late replacement for skipper Luis Garcia, then put the icing on the cake for the hosts by being in the right place at the right time in stoppage time to round off the scoring.
All in all, a comfortable victory for the hosts before they travel to Guwahati to face NorthEast United FC on October 16, and a lot to ponder for Peter Reid on the way back home, when Mumbai host FC Pune City on October 18.
Source: Indian Super League