Iain Hume rescued a point from the spot…Iain Hume rescued a point from the spot…

Atlético de Kolkata began their Indian Super League campaign with a 2-2 draw against reigning champions Chennaiyin FC at the Rabindra Sarobar Stadium in Kolkata on Sunday evening. The hosts took the lead in the 59th minute through Sameehg Doutie before being pegged back by two quick goals from Jayesh Rane and Hans Mulder. An Iain Hume spot-kick four minutes from full-time, however, saw the game end in a 2-2 draw as both sides picked up a point. ATK Head Coach Jose Molina spoke to the media after the match and said he was happy with the result but also insisted that his team deserved all three points.

“Yes. I’m absolutely happy. We did a great job and played really well. It’s true when we conceded the first goal, we came down a little bit. We had an unlucky second goal and well we kept fighting, trying to look for more goals. We didn’t win but at least we drew. We did a great job but we deserved to win. But to win you have to score more goals and we didn’t do it,” Molina said. The 46-year-old former keeper made it clear that even though he was happy with his side’s performance, they must improve as a collective unit going forward.

“I’m absolutely happy with the performance of the team. After 50 days training together, some of the players only 10 days training together, I’m absolutely happy. Of course what I want is perfection. I would like my team to be perfect and of course we are not perfect. We need to improve in everything. We can improve in everything and keep working, trying to improve every day. Surely we will be a better team in the next day, week and month but for now we have to do it in the next match,” said the former Spanish custodian.

Molina also hailed his side’s combative spirit after falling behind to two quick-fire strikes by Chennai even though they had been in control for the majority of the match.“We had control of the match. We were playing really well, we had chances to score goals but the match was under control. I think when they scored the first goal it was like a shock for us. Then an unlucky goal too, a deflection off Tiri denied us three points. The last 10 minutes, we woke up again and continued fighting until the end. The team played well to score another goal,” he said.

He insisted that they defended well as a team when question marks were raised regarding their backline that conceded two soft goals on the night. ”I think the defence did a great job. It is difficult when you are playing against players like Jeje Lalpekhlua and Davide Succi. They are great strikers and our defenders read the situations well. I’m happy with the defensive line as well as the defence of the whole team together. It’s not just the back four and the goalie, the defence is the full team. Of course we will try to improve,” said Molina.

Molina was also pleased with his side’s marquee player Helder Postiga, who provided the assist for Doutie’s opener. “He did a great job. The only thing is that he didn’t score a goal. He created a lot of chances for the rest of the team,” he said.

Molina also said that he is not sure of whether his midfield general Nato who is still recovering from his injury will be travelling to Kerala or not as he will take a call on both Nato and Bikramjit who suffered a hamstring strain against Chennaiyin FC on Monday. “I am not sure about Nato traveling or not as I will take a call after talking to the medical team. I have been monitoring Nato since the last one or two weeks. The injury which Bikramjit sustained today, I feel is not so serious. Still we will see him tomorrow.”

Report by Khel Now Correspondent Rony. Sports passionate and content writer. He is big football and cricket fan.