Kolkata: Mumbai City returned to winning ways and with it kept this hopes of making it to the play-offs alive after defeating ATK 2-1 at the Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan Stadium here on Sunday.
Hopes remain little and they will still have to depend on other teams dropping points but Mumbai coach Alexandre Guimarães would be happy that his boys managed to cross-over the line after two consecutive home defeats.
Center-back Marco Rozario had put the visitors ahead in the 32nd minute. But Bipin Singh levelled terms two minutes into the second-half before Rafa Jorda scored the winner in the 53rd minute.
The Islanders now have 20 points after 15 games. ATK from the same number, have 13.
With injury ruling Tom Thorpe out, ATK were forced to play Anwar Ali in defence who made a return after a gap of eight matches and with him and Jordi Figueras Montel, the home team had two no-nonsense kind of defenders at the back and that often led to rough-tackles in dangerous areas.
One such by Ali on Jordi just outside the 18-yard box gave Mumbai their first goal. Defender Rozario stood up and rightfully wrong-footed ATK goalkeeper Sonam Poirei whose late desperate dive got him a touch but not strong enough to prevent Mumbai from taking the lead.
It was Rozario’s maiden ISL goal and minutes later Mumbai could have added a second but Poirei managed to keep it out.
ATK then came back in the second-half with Singh finding the equaliser it the 47h minute. It was from a counter attack started by Keegan Pereira, with Jayesh Rane and Connor Thomas joining in and the latter’s through ball was latched into by Singh, who timed his run perfectly beating Raju before slotting the ball in.
But another defensive lapse at the back put the ‘Islanders’ ahead again after Jorda headed in a Sanju Pradhan cross into the goal. None of the ATK defenders attacked the ball giving the League’s tallest striker a free-header that he didn’t mind putting in.
The defending champions had their chances and the closest they came was from a Ryan Taylor free-kick that struck the upright during the borrowed minutes of extra-time. But as soon as Mumbai shifted to a four at the back, opportunities dried up giving ATK their fifth defeat in six games.