Robin Singh secures first win for ATK

Defending champions ATK came up with a spirited performance to edge Mumbai City FC 1-0 in Hero Indian Super League (ISL) 2017-18 at the Mumbai Football Arena on Sunday. Robin Singh’s second-half winner proved to be enough for the two-time champions as they secured maximum points for the first time this season and uprooted themselves from the bottom of the table.

The home team started with more purpose and the seventh minute saw Balwant Singh chest the ball on the left flank and drive it across goal. Unfortunately, no Mumbai City player was at hand to put it in. Couple of minutes later, the Islanders’ Rafa Jorda had a heart-in-the-mouth moment when he almost headed in Ryan Taylor’s free-kick in an attempted clearance. However, Amrinder Singh was alert enough to make the save.

ATK started keeping more of the ball and came tantalizingly close to taking the lead in the 17th minute. Another free-kick of Taylor’s was headed on target by ATK defender Tom Thorpe, and only a fingertip-save from Amrinder prevented the goal.

Rupert Nongrum then came close four minutes later when he was put through on goal by Zequinha, but following a heavy first-touch, his ultimate stab on goal was saved again by Amrinder. Balwant though would have been the most disappointed of the lot, when Sehnaj Singh’s cross in the 35th minute found him unmarked but his header went over the target.

Four minutes later, Zequinha went on a superb run on the left flank, and went all the way to goal before his shot from a slightly tight angle was saved by the Mumbai shot-stopper. That was the final attempt in a half that was entertaining but goalless.

Seven minutes into the second period, and Robbie Keane found space to hit a ferocious shot on target, which was well saved again by Amrinder. His and Mumbai’s resistance finally came to an end in the 54th minute when Zequinha hit a shot with the outside of his right foot from the left flank. The keeper was unsighted by Robin, who got a slight touch on the ball to help it through Amrinder’s legs and into the net.

Amrinder, however, was at it again with another splendid save in the 72nd minute when he palmed away another one of Taylor’s free-kick that was heading for the top corner. Two minutes into injury time, and his counterpart Debjit Majumder this time, came up with a superb double-save to deny Mumbai the equaliser. He palmed away the ball following Achille Emana’s drilled shot, which came to substitute Pranjal Bhumij, but the latter’s rasping strike too was met with a stunning save.

The last action of the match once more involved ATK’s custodian when he blocked Everton Santos’ shot at the near post. With the 1-0 result, ATK finally got their first win of the season and lifted themselves to the eighth position on the table.

MATCH AWARDS

Club Award: ATK

Swift Moment of the Match: Robin Singh

DHL Winning Pass of the Match: Zequinha

Amul Fittest Player: Lucian Goian

Emerging Player: Debjit Majumder

Hero of the Match: Zequinha

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