Iain Hume bagged his second hat-trick of ISL 2015, as he inspired Atletico de Kolkata to a 4-1 win against FC Pune City on Friday evening at the Salt Lake Stadium in the City of Joy.
ATK have registered three-straight wins now, and have booked their semis berth, as they moved to 23 points this season after the completion of 13 games.
Hume continued his goalscoring prowess in the league, first getting the opener for the home team, after Arata Izumi ran in behind the Pune defence and squared a pass for the Canadian forward to complete the formalities in the ninth minute of the match.
Jaime Gavilan was the mastermind behind the goal as the Spaniard used the best of his vision to scoop the ball for Izumi in the attacking third, and the Japan-born Indian midfielder took it from there on to pick up the assist for the goal.
The first half was controlled by the hosts and the visitors only got sporadic opportunities, and with Adrian Mutu coming close to scoring. The Romanian hotshot attempted a powerful left-footed drive in the 23rd minute of play that saw the ball bounce off after hitting the woodwork.
Mutu combined well with Tuncay Sanli up front, but somehow the goal did not come, although the chances did. The ex-Chelsea striker took a powerful freekick just before halftime that saw ATK custodian Amrinder Singh rise high and parry the ball away.
The start of the second half saw another stunning goal from Hume, as the Canadian used his flexibility to perfection to slam home a powerful shot, that saw Arindam Bhattacharya remain a mere spectator.
The performance from the ATK midfielders this season has been superlative, and Borja Fernandes proved that once more as he brilliantly picked out Hume through a chipped ball in the 48th minute.
Mutu had a go on goal and tried reducing the deficit again as his freekick from 25 yards out saw the well-hit strike hit the wall and go out of play, in what came as much relief to Atletico de Kolkata.
There was a sensational build-up between Borja and Hume in the 76th minute of play, but the moment of magic could not turn into a goal. The Spanish midfielder got three opportunities to get on the scoresheet within a span of seconds. While his first shot came off Arindam and the second one came off Ravanan Dharmaraj, the third shot flew over the post.
Hume completed his hat-trick in the 83rd minute after a brilliant ball from Sameehg Doutie found the onrushing Canandian, who slotted into an empty net.
It wasn't a day to remember for David Platt and his men, but Mutu, the one man who gave his heart out in the match, pulled one back for the visitors in the 86th minute, following a great display of individual skill, that was even cheered by the home fans.
The ending couldn't have been better as the Salt Lake Stadium witnessed a plethora of fireworks after Hume picked up an assist this time as he helped Dejan Lekic get his debut goal in the ISL.