KOLKATA, Nov 27 - Defending champions Atletico de Kolkata became the first team to move into the semifinals of the Hero ISL-2 with a round to spare at the Salt Lake Stadium here on Friday. ATK registered their first win against FC Pune City in two seasons riding on Canadian striker Iain Hume�s hattrick for a 4-1 result.
The victory was ATK�s seventh in 13 matches to take their points to 23. Pune City played their 12th round match and tasted their fifth loss to stay on 15 points.
Hume struck three times (9th, 48th and 83rd) and substitute Dejan Lekic (90+4) completed the rout. Adrain Mutu (86th) pulled one back for Pune City.
The home team began on a bright note making all the moves in the first quarter and rightly it made the dominance count with a fine goal in the ninth minute through Hume who placed home a forward pass from Arata Izumi.
The visitors came into the came slowly but steadily. With Adrian Mutu gaining in confidence, it was natural for Pune City to expect him to score. A combination pass on top of the ATK box saw Mutu slamming a left-footer which rocked the left upright.
Pune City intensified the pressure but failed to get the vital breakthrough. As ATK relied on the counter, there came a golden chance for the home side to score the insurance goal when Sameehg Doutie moved up on the right and his low cross caught the rival defence by surprise. Borja Fernandez�s sliding effort failed to touch the ball.
As the first half came to an end, Mutu tested ATK goalkeeper Amrinder Singh who dived full length to parry a direct free-kick from just outside the box.
ATK got their second goal through Hume within three minutes of resumption of play. And the credit for the goal should go to captain Fernandez whose lovely lob was spectacularly volleyed home by the Canadian. Mutu was once again found his effort hitting the left post off Amrinder�s clearance. After both teams missed a chance each, Hume completes his second hattrick of the season when he left footed a right wing cross from Doutie in the 83rd minute to take his personal tally to nine goals. Mutu made sure to pull one back for Pune City three minutes later.