Modou Sougou hattrick was sufficient for Mumbai City FC as they drubbed ATK 3-1 to confirm a spot in the Indian Super League (ISL) playoffs at the Yuba Bharati Krirangan Stadium in Kolkata on Friday.
Modou Sougou, who was goalless in three previous matches, scored in the 26′, 39′, 60′ to return to the scoresheet.
Andre Bikey then managed to head in a consolation in the 67th minute. However, there was rarely a way back for the hosts both into the game are as well as the playoff race.
While the stunning away win takes Mumbai to the 3rd spot on the ISL table, ATK remain rooted at the sixth position.
There was a sort of midfield battle ensuing in the first half with a playoff ticket at stake. Both the teams looked content at keeping possession of the ball. Even though ATK had arguably started the half as a better team, Mumbai soon dominated the proceedings.
In the 21st minute, Pranjal Bhumij dribbled past his marker on the left wing and crossed superbly into the centre for Sougou. The Senegalese then sold a dummy to Arnab Mondal with an exquisite first touch. However, Andre Bikey tackled the ball cleanly off his feet before the striker could press the trigger.
Here's how the #HeroISL standings look after @MumbaiCityFC confirmed their qualification in Kolkata.— Indian Super League (@IndSuperLeague) February 22, 2019
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However, five minutes later, Sogou at last managed to outwit the ATK defence. It was Paulo Machado who won the ball in his team’s half and triggered a counter-attack from the right flank.
Bhumij received the ball up the pitch and he consecutively lobbed it over the ATK defenders for Sougou. The forward’s run into the box went unnoticed and the striker struck the ball into the net.
Mumbai then hit ATK again on an penetrating counter-attack. This time, Edu Garcia lost away the ball outside the Mumbai box and Souvik Chakraborty then released Issoko down the right wing in the 39th minute.
The winger in turn found Sougou in the center of the box with a breath-taking cross with the forward making no mistake from close-range to extend the visitor’s lead.
Sougou then trippled Mumbai’s lead at the hour-mark, when he latched on to Paulo Machado’s pass and scored in an emphatic fashion. It also marked his 12th goal of the season.
Although ATK pushed players forward in search for a way back into the game, time was not on their side. Bikey did score with a powerful header in the 67th minute. However, it only turned out be a consolation as ATK succumbed to a defeat.