ATK took the lead before falling back to two goals within four second half minutes…
Hosts Atletico De Kolkata shared a point each with defending champions Chennaiyin FC in a 2-2 stalemate in their opening game in this edition of the Indian Super League at the Rabindra Sarobar Stadium tonight.
Marco Materazzi set up an unusual central defensive pair of John Arne Riise and Bernard Mendy while Jeje Lalpekhlua was used as the forward with support from Italian Davide Succi.
Jose Molina had Debjit Majumder in goal with Borja Fernandez mopping up in midfield alongside Bikramjit Singh. Iain Hume and Helder Postiga expectedly led the line while Sameehg Doutie and Javi Lara operated from either flank.
In the seventh minute, Rober Lalthlamuana brought down Baljit Singh Sahni about 30 yards from the box. It was John Arne Riise who stepped up to strike the free-kick and a wicked deflection off the wall sent Debjit the wrong way.
Few minutes later, a poor clearance from Debjit saw Succi pounce on the ball and pass it forward to Jeje whose angled shot was palmed away with Debjit making amends.
In the 15th minute, a free kick at the other end of pitch by Spaniard Javi Lara found his compatriot Borja Fernandez, but he shot well over the target. Five minutes later, Doutie put in a speedy run from the right wing for ATK and his cut back was picked up by Postiga, though his shot was well blocked by Bernard Mendy.
CFC would then create two chances of their own at the other end, first with Jeje Lalpekhlua setting up Davide Succi in the 21st minute — who shot wide — and then Jeje himself, whose grounded shot a minute later had to be scrambled away by Majumder.
At the other end, Doutie’s pace was causing problems for Mohanraj, but his attempt at playing a one-two with Postiga in the 28th minute resulted in the latter shooting well over Jamaican goalkeepers Duwayne Kerr’s frame.
The second half began with a mistake by Mendy, whose feeble attempt at a clearance gave possession away to Postiga and his through ball found Lara, but Riise came in with a strong interception to save the champions.
ATK created another chance in the 55th minute, as Doutie’s cross from the right was met by Bikramjit Singh, but he failed to get his header on target thanks to pressure from Mendy.
In the 59th minute, Postiga found an rushing Doutie on the right flank, and the latter brought the ball under control with a perfect first time shot, before composing himself and slotting the ball past Kerr to give the home side the lead.
In the 66th minute, Jeje — who in scoring CFC’s first goal of the 2015 campaign against ATK had become the first Indian scorer for the league that year — sent a speculative through-pass for Rane, who sprung the offside trap and then controlled the ball to score the equaliser for the visitors.
Their evening got even better in the 70th minute, when a long-range effort from Mulder took a deflection off centre-back Tiri and effectively gave Majumder no chance to stop it as it rolled into the net low to the goalkeeper’s right.
ATK then upped the tempo, with a headed effort by Postiga in the 72nd minute going straight to Kerr and a Hume shot from inside the box two minutes later fizzing just past Kerr’s far post.
In the 85th minute, a harmless ball was floated in by Prabir towards Doutie, and he was pushed from behind by teenaged substitute Jerry Lalrinzuala. The referee pointed to the spot. Hume would convert, bringing him level on the all-time goals tally with former CFC man John Stiven Mendoza.
ATK will next face Kerala Blasters in an away game at Kochi on the 5th of October while defending champions Chennaiyin FC will host Delhi Dynamos FC on the following day.
Match Report by Khel Now Correspondent Rony. Sports passionate and content writer. He is big football and cricket fan.