FC Goa peg back ten men Atletico de Kolkata

The defending champions, Atletico de Kolkata had to satisfy with a 1-1 draw against a much improved and experienced side, FC Goa.

Antonio Lopez Habas made a surprise change when he included Arata Izumi in place of Valdo and Jose Luis Espinosa Arroyo instead of Sayed Nabi. This gamble was spot on as Izumi scored a spectacular goal inside just fifteen minutes which is already termed as a goal of the season by many pundits.

Atletico de Kolkata’s Baljit Sahni had a terrible night when he was sent off for head-butting FC Goa’s defender Gregory Arnolin which was needless and punishable.

The Gaurs took the advantage of it and late in the second half, Keenan Almeida drilled his shot into the net from the top of the box to make things even.

Brazilian legend Zico too made a change when he replaced Denson with Bikramjit Singh as a defensive midfielder in their eventual line-up.

FC Goa started the match brightly as they kept on dominating for the whole course of the match. Their integral midfield pairing of Leo Moura and Joffre paid off, yet again. Both of them started to control and dictate the game right from the kick off and with star player Romeo Fernandes and Mandar Rao Desai supporting them, the Gaurs were just short of a spectacular moment.

The first chance of the came on nine minutes when Joffre provided Reinaldo with a delightful chip but the frontman’s shot was way off target, it was surely a golden opportunity which of coursed  backfire them unfortunately.

Four minutes later, it was Atletico de Kolkata’s time to try their fortune, Javi Lara’s cross from the right flank which was intended for Iain Hume turned out to be found by Arata Izumi who spectacularly volleyed his shot into the net, making it 1-0 in favour of the defending champions. It was a moment of brilliant technique for Izumi.

FC Goa’s Leo Moura and Romeo Fernandes both had their efforts going wide as they kept hunting for the equalizer.

On 31 minutes, FC Goa’s Marquee Captain Lucio had their best chance of the game when he found himself at striker position and had a go at goal with his left foot which ended up into Amrinder Singh’s hand, Atletico de Kolkata’s goalkeeper.

In the second half, Atletico de Kolkata made a quick change when they brought on Valdo for the provider of Azumi’s goal, Javi Lara.

Joffre and Reinaldo had couple of good link up play over the course of the match, just before the hour mark Reinaldo was found from a delightful ball by Joffre but the formers effort yet again was way off the target.

Just moments after getting the chance to double the lead, Baljit Sahni was sent off for a dubious head-butt on FC Goa’s defender Gregory Arnolin. The defending champions were down to ten men and they had more half an hour to hold their lead.

FC Goa since then started to dominate more as they had more than half of the ball possession, things started to get settle for the Gaurs as they had men advantage.

The hard work finally paid off, with just eight minutes left, Keenan Almeida drilled his shot from top of the box to equalize for Zico’s men as the 17000 fans inside Fatorda exploded in jubilation.

Somehow both the teams defended well for their life in dying minutes and shared a point with each other.

Keenan Almeida for his exquisite goal was named as “Indian Super League Emerging Player of the Match.”

Both, FC Goa and defending champions Atletico de Kolkata are still unbeaten with four points from two games.

 

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