Canadian striker Iain Hume proved his worth once again as he scored a 90th-minute goal to help Atletico de Kolkata hold NorthEast United FC to a 1-1 draw in a Hero Indian Super League (ISL) match.
ATK will be happy with the point which keeps them in the top four with 14 points from 10 matches. NorthEast United spent three weeks at the top after winning two matches in a row at the start but started at the bottom prior to this game.
The point helped them take their points tally to 11, the same as FC Goa, but Zico’s team will be placed at the bottom because of their inferior goal difference.
NorthEast United appeared like they had done enough to seal all points after Nicolas Velez capitalised on a defensive lapse in the fifth minute to give his team the lead but Hume struck in the last minute to give his team a precious point.
Velez gave NorthEast United a dream start after scoring in the fifth minute. The Argentinean striker could not believe his luck after Henrique Sereno, under pressure from Emiliano Alfaro, played a suicidal ball across for Arnab Mondal, which Velez intercepted on top of the box, rounded off goalkeeper Debjit Majumder and slotted it inside an empty goal.
Atletico de Kolkata’s attack was found wanting in the first session and they could not do much to trouble the rival defence. Helder Postiga’s shot in the 28th minute which missed the target narrowly was their best attempt and Sereno could have done better to beat Paul in the 35th minute with his header from Javi Lara’s free-kick.
The second session saw Atletico de Kolkata press hard for the equaliser. A direct corner-kick from Lara almost gifted them the goal but as the ball evaded goalkeeper Paul and sailed towards goal defender Robin Gurung was on the line to head the ball away.
NorthEast United should have killed the game before ATK fought back. In the 72nd minute, Katsumi Yusa’s cross from the right found Alfaro with plenty of time and space to head home but he only ended up picking the goalkeeper. Again in the 82nd minute, Alfaro had another chance from close range but again his header went straight to the keeper at the other end.
Those clear chances came back to haunt NorthEast United as ATK got the equaliser in the 90th minute. Lara’s free-kick from the right found Postiga inside the box who headed it towards the far post where Hume stabbed it in much to the delight of home crowd.