ATK Takes an Early Lead but Goa Manages to Draw
16th October 2016
Venue: Rabindra Sarobar Stadium, Kolkata
ATK Starting XI: Debjit Majumder(GK), Prabir Das, Arnab Mondal, Henrique Sereno, Pritam Kotal, Stephen Pearson, Borja Fernandez (C), Abinash Ruidas, Javi Lara, Sameehg Doutie, Iain Hume.
FC Goa Starting XI: Subhasish Roy(GK), Raju, Gregory(C), Dumas, Keenan, Richarlyson, Sanjay, Trindade, Jofre, Coelho, Robin Singh.
As Kolkata is considered to be the 'Mecca' of Indian football, Goa is often deemed to be the Capital of Indian football and a match between ATK and FC Goa is always touted to be a passionate affair. Goa had never managed to win against ATK and the home team was hell bent on keeping the record intact.
After two away matches, ATK returned back home to add more points to the league table where they stood fourth. Head Coach, Jose Molina fielded a refreshed team with three changes in the line-up playing in the 4-2-3-1 combination. Debjit Majumder held guard under the bar aided by the defensive trio of Arnab Mondal, Pritam Kotal and Prabir Das and the latest recruit, the man from Portugal, Henrique Sereno. The midfield had the experience of captain Borja Fernandez and Stephen Pearson who had his first start of the season, with the youngster Abinash Ruidas and Sameehg Doutie managing the flanks. The attack was led by Iain Hume who was supported by Javi Lara from behind.
The match started in a flurry of activities where Goa was awarded a corner in the very first minute and Arnab Mondal a yellow card for a foul on Joffre.
In the fifth minute, Iain Hume was pushed to the ground and was in immense pain. Free kick was awarded to ATK and Javi Lara walked up to take it. It is then that ATK got its breakthrough. Javi Lara's shot was headed away towards Sameehg Doutie who showed his masterclass yet again. He didn't waste time and volleyed the ball into the back of the net with a blinder that is touted to be the best goal of the season so far.
With an early setback, Goa tried to bolster its attack and came quite close to scoring twice in a matter of minutes but Debjit kept his cool and saved well. On the other half, ATK continued to look for loopholes to add another. By the 16th minute, the attacking index read 71% in the favour of ATK to Goa's 29%.
Another great chance opened up in the 19th minute, when Ruidas' cross found Doutie who set up Javi Lara, but his shot goes wide. The next 10 minutes saw much action on ATK's end with Goa coming close with a number of passes, cheeky set pieces and corner kicks. By the 30th minute, the attacking index had shifted to 51% in the favour of Goa to ATK's 49%.
From here onwards, ATK came back in full throttle as Hume and Lara started hammering the Goan defence with assists by Doutie and Ruidas and corner kick. In the 37th minute, Pearson almost has a goal to his name only to find his header going directly into the hands of Subhasish Roy.
The remaining minutes of the half saw Goa trying to pull every stop to get an equaliser but ATK held firm. Doutie and Hume also came close but Goa headed the ball away to safety every time. Just at the stroke of halftime, Pritam Kotal was awarded a yellow card and a free kick was awarded to Goa. However, it fetched no result.
With 3 minutes added to the first half, both the teams had a close shave. Joffre's free kick was almost converted but Trindade hit wide. On the other half, Abinash and Prabir tried to set up a chance but Roy collected the ball before it managed to create more problem for Goa.
At half time, the scoreline read: Atletico de Kolkata 1:0 FC Goa
First Half stats:
Possession: ATK 47% : 53% GOA
Attacking Index: ATK 44% : 56% GOA
The second half started in the same manner as the first half wherein Goa was awarded an early corner. Gregory had a chance to equalise from a lobbed ball towards him but Debjit Majumder managed to rise high and collect it firmly.
In a few minutes, ATK was back with Javi Lara passing the ball to Hume to run forward with but he tripped midway. No free kick was awarded in this occasion. In the 51st minute, Robin Singh was shown the yellow card for fouling Doutie and a free kick was awarded. A minute later, Borja tried to take the opponent's keeper by surprise with a long distance curling shot but missed the bar by mere inches.
Tragedy hit ATK in the 53rd minute, when Stephen Pearson was awarded a straight Red Card and given the marching orders for his foul on Trindade. Reduced to 10 men, ATK made a substitution in the 55th minute with Abinash Ruidas being substituted for Bikramjit Singh, to bring in fresh legs and experience in the midfield.
In the 57th minute, Hume was pushed and a free kick was awarded to ATK. Javi Lara took position and send a stunning curler at the top left corner of the goal but Roy made a last second gasping save to deny ATK another goal.
However, Goa faces the same fate as ATK, when Sanjay was shown a second yellow card culminating to a Red card, for his foul on Prabir and given the marching order. With both the teams ending up with 10 men, the game had an equal look.
By the 65th minute, the attacking index read 64% in the favour of ATK. The home team again came close in the 71st minute, when Doutie's back heel found Hume who sent a blinding ground shot across goal only to be saved by the diving Goan keeper.
However, in the 75th minute, Borja incurred a handball inside ATK's penalty box and the referee was quick to grant Goa with a penalty. Joffre walked up to take the spot kick and did not miss the target as he made Debjit dive in the opposite direction.
In the 78th minute, Molina substituted Iain Hume for Juan Belencoso to add fresh legs to the attack. In the 85th minute, Javi and Doutie set up Bikramjit whose shot landed straight in the hands of the keeper.
The trailing 10 minutes saw Goa riding high on the spirits of Joffre who came close in two instances to score. ATK on the other hand, had some missed chances from Borja's long shot at goal, Javi Lara's efforts to assist Belencoso and Doutie's sudden outbursts towards goal.
With three minutes added to the final half of play, the last chance of the match came ATK's way when Doutie was fouled near the penalty box. Javi Lara took position but his shot hit the Goan wall and the referee blew the whistle to bring the match to an end.
FT Scoreline: Atletico de Kolkata 1:1 FC Goa
In the after match Awards, ATK bagged four awards:
Hero of the Match: Sameehg Doutie
DHL Winning Pass of the Match: Iain Hume
Amul Fittest Player of the Match: Javi Lara
ISL Emerging Player of the Match: Abinash Ruidas
ATK add a point to their tally and goes up to the third position in the ISL league table. The next match for the red and white brigade is on the 22nd of October at home, in the Rabindra Sarobar Stadium, against Delhi Dynamos.
Till then, keep cheering and supporting the Team while chanting #AamarBukeyATK!