Atletico De Kolkata’s superstar Iain Hume scored a first-half brace to hand his side a 3-2 win in the first-leg of their semi-final against Mumbai City FC.

A packed Rabindra Sarobar stadium in Kolkata played host to the first leg of the first semifinal of the third season of the Indian Super League as Atletico De Kolkata faced Mumbai City FC. This marked Atletico De Kolkata’s third appearance in the knockout phase, which meant that the Kolkata outfit had advanced to the semi-finals in every iteration of the Indian Super League.

Mumbai City, on the other hand, were making their debut in the knockout round. Despite being the home side, the stadium had proven to be Kolkata’s bogey arena with the Sourav Ganguly-owned franchise managing only one win in the regular season.

But the home side started with a bang as Lalrindika Ralte handed Atletico De Kolkata the lead in just the third minute of the game, as Borja Fernandez’s shot took a deflection off Ralte before looping over Amrinder Singh into the net.

The lead, though, was not to last for long as a Diego Forlan-hit free-kick in the 10th minute of the game fell kindly at the mercy of Leo Costa inside the box, who slotted it home to level the scores for the Mumbai outfit. Diego Forlan proved creator once again as Mumbai City FC completed a comeback to go into the lead in the 19th minute of the game as a brilliantly envisioned free-kick by the Uruguayan found Gerson open inside the box, who obliged by heading the ball past Dani Mallo into the net.

An early shower for Forlan saw Mumbai City succumb to a narrow 3-2 loss in the first leg of the semi-final. (Picture Courtesy - ISL)

An early shower for Forlan saw Mumbai City succumb to a narrow 3-2 loss in the first leg of the semi-final. (Picture Courtesy – ISL)

The match then took a more intense turn as three players, including Didika, the first goalscorer, were shown yellow cards for various fouls. The first-half though, still had plenty of time remaining for Kolkata to equalize and the Red and Whites did just that.

In the 39th minute of the game, Doutie’s pass found Iain Hume, who, after a patient build-up, produced a scorcher from long-range, a shot that moved past every player and goalkeeper Amrinder Singh, and found the back of the net.

Rejuvenated by the equalizer, Atletico De Kolkata pushed for the lead and a clumsy tackle inside the box by Lalhmangaihsanga Ralte at the stroke of half-time handed Kolkata a penalty and a chance to restore their early lead. Iain Hume took the responsibility and converted the spot-kick to send the two sides into the half-time with Atletico De Kolkata leading Mumbai City FC by a scoreline of 3-2.

The second half was much more a tactical battle in the midfield and failed to produce any goals. But tempers started to flare, which saw three more cards being shown to the players, two of which were shown to Diego Forlan, who received his marching orders in the 74th minute of the match.

The red card meant Mumbai City FC were unable to muster up enough chances to mount another comeback as the referee blew the final whistle to hand Atletico De Kolkata a 3-2 win over Mumbai City FC. The Red and Whites now travel to Mumbai with a slender advantage, despite the Mumbai outfit earning what may prove to be two costly away goals in the whole scheme of things.

The Doutie-Hume combo proved devastating for the opposition once again. (Picture Courtesy - ISL)

The Doutie-Hume combo proved devastating for the opposition once again. (Picture Courtesy – ISL)

The pair of Doutie and Iain Hume pulled all the strings in the attack for the home side and a valiant effort from Diego Forlan was not enough to salvage a draw in the first-leg of the first semi-final between Atletico De Kolkata and Mumbai City FC.

Iain Hume was adjudged the man of the match for his influential brace and the Kolkata faithful would hope for the forward to repeat his Saturday exploits when the second leg gets underway on the 13th of December, 2016.