It was the only real dark patch in their otherwise impressive record in the ISL but Atletico de Kolkata have erased that too. Delhi Dynamos pummeled the ATK defence with wave after wave of attacks but Kolkata not only held on but replied with counters.
Even when they were down to 10 men, the ATK players made sure that they punished Delhi to maximum effect by bouncing back with a counter and earning a penalty themselves. Iain Hume, who was more than usefull for the home side in the midfield throughout the day stepped up and made no mistake with the spot kick. ATK were ahead with just about 10 minutes to spare in the game.
It was then a story of ATK defending with all the 10 men they had got and in the end, came away with a result that propels them to second spot in the ISL table.
To say that Atletico de Kolkata have never won agaistn Delhi Dynamos might be deceptive as both teams haven’t had much success against each other. Ove the last two seasons,Delhi Dynamos have won only once against ATK.
The home side will have more than just a point to prove as they tackle Delhi Dynamos in an intriguing Hero Indian Super League clash at Rabindra Sarobar Stadium, Kolkata, on Saturday.
In the last two years of the Indian Super League, Atletico de Kolkata – who emerged champions in 2014 – have conquered every opponent in ISL, except for Delhi Dynamos. In four matches between these two teams, ATK have scored just twice against Delhi Dynamos, the lowest they have managed to score against any opponent.
This season, the two teams have maintained their unbeaten record so far. So when these two unbeaten teams line-up against each other, the hosts will look to set the record straight.
“The bad thing is that we again didn’t win at home but the good thing is we didn’t lose,” ATK coach Jose Molina had said after his team could only manage a 1-1 draw against FC Goa in the last match here.
“We try to improve because we want to win but okay, one more point, 10 more matches still to play, five more matches here at home,” said the Spanish coach.
Based on past records in the ISL, it will not be easy for the hosts to break down Delhi Dynamos. Between these two teams – no home team has ever won till now, and should ATK fail to collect full points against the visitors – which can possibly take them to the second spot – it will be for the first time that they have failed to log full points at home in any of their first three fixtures.
Delhi Dynamos started with a flourish in this edition of ISL. A 3-1 win against defending champions Chennaiyin FC in their own backyard should have taken them high up the table but Gianluca Zambrotta’s side has only managed three successive draws till now against the likes of Kerala Blasters, NorthEast United FC and Mumbai City FC. The last match in particular was difficult for Delhi as they had to fight back twice from a two-goal deficit.
“Fortunately, because of some mistakes from the Mumbai City FC team we could come back from 3-1 down,” admitted Zambrotta.
Should Zambrotta aspire to walk away with full points from Kolkata, he will need Marcelinho to fire. The Brazilian winger’s pace and trickery has troubled most defences, reflecting in his three goals and two assists so far.
If only marquee player Florent Malouda can reproduce the form that took Delhi Dynamos to the semi-finals last season, the visitors can enjoy a massive upper hand. Malouda’s average successful passes per match this season has dropped to 37.5 from 65 passes last season and has been a worry for the Delhi team. However, given the former Chelsea FC midfielder’s unquestionable quality, Zambrotta will hope it’s only a matter of time before Malouda ups the ante.
5′ gone ATK 0-0 Delhi Dynamos
We have kicked off here with Delhi Dynamos in the away dark blue colours and ATK at home with their red and white stripes. Iain Hume provided a wonderfull ball in the third minute that pierced the Delhi defence down the middle. Goalkeeper Doblas was aware of the danger and came out of his line to clear it
10′ gone ATK 0-0 Delhi Dynamos
Both teams have had their fair share of chances. As of now, it is difficult to say which team is better. Bith goalkeepers have been called into action and it seems the tone is set for a level contest.
20′ gone ATK 0-0 Delhi Dynamos
Atletico de Kolkata seem to be comfortable defending deep and hitting Delhi on the counter. The home side have played some good sequence of passes with Iain Hume being the focal point of all attacks. If they can keep it together in the final third, we can expect some goals from the home side today.
30′ gone ATK 0-0 Delhi Dynamos
Both teams had fantastic chances to go in front. Marcelinho raced down the left wing in the 23rd minute and into the box with almost no one to stop him. The goalkeeper came off his line but Marcelinho chipped the ball past him. Just before the ball went into goal, Prabir Das cleared it. On the other side, the Delhi goalkeeper was tested twice as ATK stepped up their attack. In the end, both goalposts remained secure.
35′ gone ATK 0-0 Delhi Dynamos
How its remained goalless is a wonder. Florent Malouda whipped in a shot from a loose ball in the box that was saved by the ATK’s Majumder. The rebound provoked two shots from the Delhi players, both of which were saved first by the keeper’hands and then by a defendor’s legs. Some very good defending from the home side and Delhi very unlucky to not go ahead.
40′ gone ATK 0-0 Delhi Dynamos
Doutie worked a deadly cross right in front of goal. Juan Belencoso managed to got a head to it but puts it wide off the far post. ATK’s chance to puff their cheeks in frustration.
HALF TIME!! Atletico de Kolkata 0-0 Delhi Dynamos
South African Sameehg Doutie created a few good chances for Atletico de Kolkata and he will certainly be a key for them in the second half. Iain Hume seems to have lost his scoring touch but he certainly seems to be an important cog in the wheel for any attacking move made by the home side. But Delhi have been the more attacking of the two and have had far more chances than their opponents.
At the same time, it is goals that win matches and not chances and we have seen a number of times this ISL season that teams having a lion’s share of the chances find themselves at the wrong end of a score line. Hence, despite half the match gone, it is still difficult to predict who will come out as victors in this one.
60′ gone ATK 0-0 Delhi Dynamos
The second half has had a more steady start compared to the freinzied nature of the first half but both sides are opening up easily. Goalkeepers just as busy as they have been throughout the game.
65′ gone ATK 0-0 Delhi Dynamos
Credit where its due and today, we have seen a master class performance from ATK goalkeeper Debjit Majumder has had a big role in keeping his team in contention. He jumped high to touch the ball over the bar when it came his way from a deflected shot.
73′ min PENALTY FOR DELHI!! second Yellow card and a Red for Sereno, Marcelinho to take
73′ min PENALTY FOR DELHI!! second Yellow card and a Red for Sereno, Marcelinho to take and he MISSES IT. He went for the top corner and instead missed the target completely. Delhi have let go of a good chance but have the advantage of having the extra man now
GOAL (Iain Hume 77′) ATK 1-0 Delhi Dynamos
And that is football for you. Just as they were down to 10 men, ATK staged a quick counter at the end of which Douti was brought down in the box. the penalty was given and, unlike Marcelinho on the other end, Iain Hume made not mistake when he burried the ball in the bottom left-hand corner.
73′ min PENALTY FOR DELHI!! second Yellow card and a Red for Sereno, Marcelinho to take and he misses
He went for the top left corner and missed the target completely instead but it is still advantage Delhi as ATK is reduced to 10 men
FULL TIME!! Atletico de Kolkata 1-0 Delhi Dynamos
They were down to 10 men but even before Delhi Dynamos could take advantage of the situation, the home side hit them on the counter and wont a penalty for themselves. Iain Hume, who has been ineffective in front of goal but more than useful in midfield burried it. It was then all about holding their nerves for ATK and that is what they did.