It’s been a gripping two months of action packed football in the third season of the Indian Super League and fifty-six games later we are finally entering the knockout stage of the competition with Atletico De Kolkata and Mumbai City FC squaring off in the first-leg of semi-final 1 on Saturday. Atletico de Kolkata host Mumbai City FC at the Rabindra Sarobar Stadium and the match will start at 7 pm. You can watch the match online here.
ATK will play in the semifinals for the third time as they have made into the last four in every season of ISL and even clinched the title in opening season. The home team finished fourth in the league stage with four wins, two losses and eight draws.
They are aware of the pressure players witness in the knockout stage and they can handle it but ATK’s home record should be their area of concern as out of seven games at home ground, five ended in a draw. Home fans will have high hopes from Iain Hume, the team’s top scorer with 5 goals, and Javi Lara who has been known for his quick feet, precise passing accuracy and good finishing.
On the other hand, Mumbai make it to the semi-finals for the very first time and they will be aiming to capitalise on this opportunity. They are new entry into the round of play-offs but they shouldn’t be underestimated as they finished on top of the pack in the league stage and can put the opposition on the back foot.
All the eyes of Mumbai fans will be on Diego Forlan, who is their top scorer of the edition with 4 goals, and Sunil Chetri, who is yet to find the back of net but has been vital in the attacking force. Mumbai City FC will have the psychological advantage in today’s match as they have already beaten Kolkata once in this season and will look to repeat that.
Head to head: The two teams have clashed with each other for total six times over the last three editions with Mumbai City FC coming on top with 3 wins against Atlético de Kolkata’s 2 win.
Atlético de Kolkata: (Goalkeepers) Dani Mallo, Shilton Paul, Debjit Majumder; (Defenders) Henrique Sereno, Tiri, Arnab Mondal, Kingshuk Debnath, Pritam Kotal, Robert Lalthlamuana, Prabir Das, Keegan Pereira; (Midfielders) Jewel Raja, Borja Fernández, Sameehg Doutie, Bikramjit Singh, Bidyananda Singh, Lalrindika Ralte, Ofentse Nato, Stephen Pearson, Abhinas Ruidas, Bikash Jairu, Javi Lara; (Forwards) Juan Belencoso, Hélder Postiga, Iain Hume
Mumbai City FC: (Goalkeepers) Amrinder Singh, Roberto Volpato, Albino Gomes; (Defenders) Aiborlang Khongjee, Ashutosh Mehta, Gerson Vieira, Anwar Ali, Lucian Goian, Sena Ralte, Lalchhuanmawia, Facundo Cardozo, Munmun Lugun; (Midfielders) Krisztián Vadócz, Léo Costa, Jackichand Singh, Boithang Haokip, Pronay Halder, Sony Norde, David Lalrinmuana, Matías Defederico, Otacilio Brito Alves, Sehnaj Singh, Rakesh Oram; (Forwards) Gastón Sangoy, Diego Forlán, Sunil Chettri