ISL 2016: FC Goa vs Atletico de Kolkata

FC Goa and Atletico de Kolkata clashed at the Fatorda Stadium in Goa and the hype was already high after FC Mumbai City entered in the ISL 2016 playoff, a day before moreover the home side had successfully drawn their last game against Mumbai City. Kolkata, on the other hand, was searching for a win after facing three consecutive matches ended with a draw.

Both the teams have some of the best performing players but have lacked in overall team performance. Atletico de Kolkata were the winners of the first season and ended their second season at the second position, however, in ISL 2016 the team has failed to deliver the end product.

Nevertheless, it was the visiting side who emerged victorious and their comeback could be termed as the best climax Indian Football have ever seen.

Here is the match summary:

Kolkata came very close to taking the lead early in the 7th minute when Stephen Pearson was blocked at the edge of the box and his teammate Javi Lara attempted a quick shot but Kattimani was able to pull off a top save.

Lara was proving hard to be handled for the visitors as in the 11th minute he again attempted a goal from inside FC Goa’s goalpost but Kattimani was on high alert this time too, much to Goa’s delight. The sound of ‘Oooooos’ covered the stadium as the home crowd was getting frenzied with every passing minute.

Image Courtesy: ISL

Atletico’s persistence bore fruit in the 28th minute when a good interplay between Ruidas and Robert saw the latter passing the ball in which is defended out only to Ruidas, who further delivered a perfect cross towards Belencoso. The Spaniard was left unmarked by the opposition and shot a powerful header, sending the ball straight into the goalpost.

FC Goa made it too easy for him!! Where were your markers, Zico?

FC Goa also had some chances at the goal but these were not enough to trouble the visitors. Goa had no answers to Atletico de Kolkata’s attacks and the team was left with no other option but to defend their stand.

FC Goa’s lack of coordination would have resulted in another goal, just before half-time when Ruidas found the opposition’s defence napping and shot a long pass towards Belencoso. However, Kattimani came out from his line and intercepted the pass and the crowd cheered after seeing the goalkeeper doing what the defence was appointed to do.

FC Goa started the second half with aggression and created an opportunity at the equalizer, which took the visitors by surprise. Mandar’s cross from the right was received by Robert and in his attempt to clear the ball the player ended up striking the ball against the post, much to Atletico de Kolkata’s relief.

Despite Goa’s fight, it was the visiting side who dominated the initial moments of the second half. To tackle the regressive attacks, Robin Singh was introduced in the place of Keenan Almeida. The former got a chance at becoming the home crowd’s hero in the 70th minute when Trindade’s cross found him inside the box and Singh attempted a header, but, his header went straight into Debjit Majumder’s hands.

Mandar Rao Dessai
Image Courtesy: ISL

FC Goa was finally able to score an equalizer in the 80th minute when Rafael Coelho picked up a Julio Cesar cross from the right and shot it sideways for Mandar. The latter attempted a shot at the far side of the post, taking the score to 1-1.

FC Goa went into an all out attacking mode making its defence vulnerable, Atletico de Kolkata made no mistake in taking the advantage of the situation in the nick of the game as Dougie tackled his marker carefully and cut it back towards Pearson. The latter saw an advancing Kattimani and caressed the ball through his legs to seal the win for Kolkata, making the goalkeeper look stupid.

Stephen Pearson
Image Courtesy: ISL

The game ended with a score of 1-2 in Atletico de Kolkata’s favor, taking the team to the second position in ISL 2016 league tally. FC Goa, on the other hand, needs to win both of their remaining matches to see themselves in semi-finals and that’s not it, the result of other matches will also play a deciding factor in their ISL 2016 semi-finals dream.

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25 November 2016
Rohan Jaitly

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