The Titans clash, but ATK reigns supreme with a 4:0 win
22nd November 2015
Venue: Salt Lake Stadium, Kolkata
ATK Starting XI: Amrinder Singh(GK), Rino Anto, Arnab Mondal, Jose Luis Espinosa Arroyo (Tiri), Augustin Fernandes, Borja Fernandez (C), Oftense Nato, Jaime Gavilan Martinez, Sameehg Doutie, Mohammed Rafique, Iain Hume.
FC Goa Starting XI: Laxmikant Kattimani(GK), Narayan Das, Gaikwad, Colaco, Gregory Arnolin, Lucio(C), Joffre, Moura, Lucca, Dudu, Haokip.
An Atletico de Kolkata and FC Goa clash is often touted as the 'Indian El Clasico' keeping in mind the healthy rivalry and eminent class their games behold for the spectators. Having the most passionate fans across India, there has always been a great hype surrounding the ATKvGOA match. Coming into the match, FC Goa's chances always looked plum as they routed Mumbai City FC in their last game by a 7:1 margin and was also the league table toppers. ATK, on the other hand, had the home advantage with the team looking extremely confident after their last three successful encounters.
With a total of 51,047 football fans present in attendance at the Mecca of football to witness the clash of the titans, a great match was always on the cards.
ATK head coach, Antonio Habas made a couple of changes in the squad wherein Valmiro Lopes Rocha (Valdo) gave way for Mohammed Rafique and Arata Izumi gave way for Oftense Nato. The formation remained unchanged at 4-2-3-1, with Iain Hume leading the attack, supported by Doutie and Rafique on both flanks and Gavilan from behind. The Midfield saw our captain, Borja Fernandez sharing space with Oftense Nato, who was given the role of a midfielder in this match. The back remained untouched with the golden quartet of Rino Anto, Arnab Mondal, Augustin Fernandes and Tiri holding guard along with the in-form Amrinder Singh.
The match started with a burst of fireworks and a unified cheer, as the 50000-strong crowd made their support heard loud and clear. The match began on even grounds with the first 10 minutes focusing on some action inside the ATK box as FC Goa managed to create some great chances. A defensive lag opened a glorious chance for Goa's Dudu and Moura to score but they missed their chances.
However, from the 10th minute onwards, it was all an ATK show. The unerring trio of Rafique, Doutie and Gavilan created enough chances with swift passes, crosses and shots at goal, while Hume seemed as dangerous as ever as he went past defenders to take shots at goal, only to be resisted by their keeper.
The first jewel on ATK's crown came as early as in the 20th minute, when Sameehg Doutie artistically collects an accurate cross from Jaime Gavilan, right outside the box, dodges the defender and takes a shot a goal. The keeper jumps but Doutie's perfect strike goes past his gloves to rest at the back of the net to make the score line read 1:0. The super somersault by Doutie starts the nightmare for the Goans.
FC Goa hadn't yet recovered from the first blow and was getting their resources together wherein the second jewel on the ATK crown came through. A swift pass from Doutie found our captain, Borja Fernandez at the edge of the box and he took an aim at goal. His shot flew in like a rocket from 19 yards, past all the Goan defenders and the keeper, at the top corner of the net. As Borja registered his first goal of the season and may be one of the best all around, FC Goa found them trailing 2:0.
Even after registering two solid goals, ATK was in no mind to let the game rest. They continued to hammer the Goan defense with shots, passes, crosses, free kicks and corners to keep them on their toes. Such was the fantastic attacking display that by the 40th minute the attacking index read a whopping 95% in favour of ATK.
Before the half time, Doutie got a chance to triple the lead as he dodged past and entered the box to take an aim at goal only to be resisted by the Goan defense. The whistle blew and the notably one-sided first half came to an end. The Score line read:
ATK 2:0 FC Goa
First Half stats: Attack Index: ATK 95%: 5% FC Goa
he second half started with FC Goa vying to get on even terms with the home side, while ATK making sure their two goal lead doesn't make them defensive and hence, keeping their attacking prowess alive.
As nerves were frayed, the 50th minute saw a bit of unrest on the pitch. Dudu and Borja got involved in a verbal spat, only to be silenced by the referee's intervention. On the 56th minute, a nasty clash saw Gavilan going down injured and writhing in pain in the middle of the field. The medical team rushed in to check on him and he was taken out of the ground for treatment. In the meanwhile, Rafique and Iain Hume came very close to score and triple the lead only to be restricted by the Goan defense.
The 67th minute saw ATK getting ready to put another jewel on their crown as Sameehg Doutie is fouled inside the FC Goa box by Nicolau and the referee declares a Penalty. The ATK talisman, Iain Hume is the perfect man for the job and he comes up to take the strike. The whistle blow, Hume takes the short run up and strikes. He manages to confound the keeper who jumps left, as he deftly hits the ball to the right bottom corner of the net to take the score line to 3:0.
Even after a triple lead, Habas still meant business as he brings on the ATK super striker Arata Izumi in the place of Rafique to strengthen the attack. He along with the other attacking spearheads kept the Goan defense under terrific pressure as they fought to keep ATK away from scoring another.
However, there was more to the story. The fourth and final jewel on ATK's bejeweled crown came in the 78th minute. A long and perfectly marked cross from the half way mark by Oftense Nato finds Sameehg Doutie just outside the box, who dodges and ducks past the defenders, goes past the keeper and manages to build an open chance in front of an empty net to score the fourth for ATK and his second of the evening. The score line reads 4:0.
With FC Goa losing their cool, a few rough tackles saw a number of yellow cards being flashed in the middle. Arata Izumi again came close to score a fifth only to be adjudged offside. With the game truly in ATK's pocket, Habas decided to field two of his new signees. Dejan Lekic came in for Hume, while Jorge Alonso got his first chance at the ISL, in the place of Jaime Gavilan. Once on the field, Alonso made his presence felt with a shot on target which eventually the Goan keeper managed to collect.
Three minutes of extra time was added to the final half, where Borja Fernandez tried to have a final shot at target from the baseline, only to shoot it extremely wide. The final whistle blew and FC Goa's misery came to an end.
FT Scoreline: Atletico de Kolkata 4:0 FC Goa
Ball possession: ATK 52%: 48% FC Goa
Shot on Target: ATK 6: 3 FC Goa
Total Yellow cards: 3 (ATK 0, FC Goa 3)
In the after match Awards, ATK bagged all the five categories:
Club Award: Atletico de Kolkata
Swift Moment of the Match: Borja Fernandez
Fittest Player of the Match: Iain Hume
ISL Emerging Player of the Match: Mohammed Rafique
Hero of the Match: Sameegh Doutie
With this emphatic win, ATK saw a meteoric rise to the top of the league table by being the first team in this season to touch the 20 points mark. With a clear 7 goal difference at the top of the table, the road to the semi finals seems to be more real and distinguished.
Our next match is again at Home with FC Pune City on the 27th of November, where ATK will look forward to maintain their four match undefeated record with a hat trick of victories and also strengthen their position at the top of the points table.
Till then, keep supporting Your Team Your Dream as they play some more Fatafati Football!