Indian Player Ratings: Komal Thatal stands tall in ATK ruins, Rahul Bheke holds fort for Bengaluru
Written by: Uttiyo Sarkar
The game marked the third loss at home for the Kolkata outfit this season.
Bengaluru FC picked up their second consecutive win on the road by defeating ATK 1-2 at the Salt Lake Stadium on Wednesday. After the hosts had gone in front through a wonder strike from Komal Thatal, Bengaluru fought back and two thunderous strikes from Miku and Erik Paartalu saw them tie with FC Goa in second place in the Indian Super League (ISL) table. Here are our player ratings for the day.
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Watch: ATK 1-2 Bengaluru FC
Arindam Bhattacharya- 6.0
Arindam had a tough night ahead of him but stood strong in goal. He made a great parry of Miku’s header in the first half, but couldn’t do anything to prevent his free-kick. He could’ve done better to save Paartulu’s attempt, but the shot was way too powerful for him. Didn’t have much to do after that goal.
Airborlang Khongjee- 6.5
The former Mumbai City player wasn't intimidated by Sunil Chhetri and marked him firmly. He kept the dangerous Bengaluru captain at bay and tracked his movement well. Made six clearances and kept Chhetri quiet throughout the game.
Ricky Lallawmawma- 6.0
Ricky was quite good against the threat of Udanta Singh and didn’t give him much room to roam forward. Tracked his movement well and made some crucial interceptions to win back the ball for ATK. He made four tackles to steal the ball away from Udanta and kept the electric winger at bay. Was disappointing going forward, but did his defensive job well.
Pronay Halder- 6.0
Pronay stood just ahead of his defence and helped create a deep backline which made things difficult for Bengaluru. Made a few interceptions in midfield and didn’t let the Blues move through freely in midfield. Picked up a needless yellow card again in the second half, but did well to stop Bengaluru from dominating play.
Komal Thatal- 7.5
Played the best match of his ISL career so far. Thatal was an absolute nightmare for Nishu Kumar and caused him problems with his movement. Made a clever run to get behind the full-back and finished brilliantly on his left foot. Continued his good work in the second half by hitting a shot which brazed the goal and created a few more chances. Was substituted after a superb outing.
Balwant Singh- 5.0
Balwant struggled against Rahul Bheke and was isolated on his side. He made quite a few misplaced passes and only created one good chance when he strode past a few defenders, but passed the ball when he should’ve taken a shot. His distribution was poor and he wasn't allowed to get into space by Bengaluru’s defenders. Picked up a needless yellow card and was subbed after a disappointing outing.
Jayesh Rane- 5.5
Rane had a frustrating outing after coming on. Didn't manage to create anything and annoyed fans by wasting a promising counter-attacking chance late in the game.
Hitesh Sharma- NA
Hitesh couldn’t really do much after coming on very late in the game.
Gurpreet was largely untested, but looked confident with his distribution and handling. Couldn’t perceive Thatal’s shot going on his weaker side and looked as surprised as anyone after conceding. He recovered in the second half, making a smart save off Everton Santos’ attempt. The shot-stopper also collected the ball very well in the second period and didn’t let any cross form ATK faze him.
Rahul Bheke- 7.0
Bheke had a solid game in which he did well to neutralize ATK’s threat through the wings, making four tackles and six clearances. Went forward with intent quite a few times and got behind the defence, but couldn’t create anything dangerous. Switched to the left flank in the second half and contained both Thatal and Jayesh Rane expertly. A compelling showing from the full-back.
Nishu Kumar- 5.5
The young defender had a troublesome night on the left and found it difficult to contain the dazzling Thatal. Made a bad judgement by letting the youngster go past him for the goal and didn’t look comfortable defending against him. He did look bright going forward, creating one chance for Miku, but was underwhelming apart from that. Was substituted in the second half after picking up a knock.
Khabra put in an industrious effort in the middle of the park. He neutralized Lanzarote’s threat pretty well and helped the Blues dominate possession. Khabra had a passing accuracy of 80% and made five tackles to steal the ball away from ATK on numerous occasions. Made a terrific block in the second half to deny Pronay’s shot which was destined to go into the net. He also moved into promising positions in the final third to create chances for his side late in the game.
Udanta Singh- 5.5
The Indian "Flash" showed his electric pace at times, but couldn’t really make good use of it. He was marked closely by Ricky, but linked well with Miku to find space in ATK’s defence. But, he couldn’t really create any chance and was substituted after a weak performance.
Sunil Chhetri- 6.0
The Bengaluru FC captain was full of vigor and always looked in the hunt for getting a goal. He got into a few promising positions inside the box at times and had a powerful shot blocked by an ATK player. Worked hard to win the ball and create chances for his side towards the end, but was goalless on the day.
Rino Anto- 6.0
Anto brought his experience to help Bengaluru maintain their lead in the second half. Contained Hitesh really well, making an important interception and block to help his side win three points.
Boithang Haokip- NA
Came on for Udanta and brought some energy to Bengaluru’s counter-attacks. Hit the post late into the game and could’ve wrapped up the win had that gone in.