A Moudou Sougou hat-trick was enough for Mumbai City FC to drub ATK 3-1 and confirm a spot in the Hero Indian Super League playoffs at the Yuba Bharati Krirangan Stadium here on Friday.
After three matches without a goal, Modou Sougou (26’, 39’, 60’) returned to the scoresheet with an excellent performance. Andre Bikey headed in a consolation in the 67th minute, but the hosts could not find a way back into the game and are now out of the reckoning. The win takes Mumbai to the third spot on the table with 30 points while ATK remain sixth.
A midfield battle ensued in the first half as both teams looked to keep possession. ATK started the half well but Mumbai soon stamped their authority, showing efficiency in the attacking third. Sougou first managed to get the better of the ATK defence in the 26th minute, off a fine move started by Paulo Machado.
Mumbai hit ATK with an incisive counter-attack yet again. Edu Garcia gave the ball away outside the Mumbai box and Souvik Chakrabarty released Issoko down the right flank in the 39th minute. The winger found Sougou in the center of the box with a delightful cross and the forward made no mistake from close-range to double Mumbai’s lead. The Senegalese striker then scored his 12th goal of the season with an emphatic finish at the hour mark.
ATK pushed players forward in search of a goal. Pritam Kotal delivered a good cross into the centre of the box and Bikey’s powerful header found the net in the 67th minute.