Edu Garcia stars with goal on debut as ATK-Blasters clash end in stalemate

Former Bengaluru FC midfielder Edu Garcia marked his return to ISL in style as his free-kick in the 85th minute gave ATK an unexpected lead, but a Matej Poplatnik goal just three minutes later saw the spoils shared.

Former Bengaluru FC midfielder Edu Garcia marked his return to ISL in style as his free-kick in the 85th minute gave ATK an unexpected lead, but a Matej Poplatnik goal just three minutes later saw the spoils shared.

Nelo Vingada rang in the changes in his first match in charge of the Blasters with Nikola Krcmarevic and Matej Poplatnik given starts. ATK coach Steve Coppell welcomed Kalu Uche back into the team after the Nigerian forward returned to full fitness while new recruits Pritam Kotal and Edu Garcia were also included in the starting XI.

Poplatnik threatened early for Kerala with his header going just wide of the post while Garcia made a lively start for Kolkata at the other end. It were the hosts who saw more of the ball in the opening quarter of an hour, but they were unable to create any clear-cut chances against the rival defence.

A quick Kerala breakaway at the half an hour mark saw Prasanth Karuthadathkuni cross the ball towards the danger area, but John Johnson was on hand to prevent Sahal Abdul Samad from getting a decisive touch. Poplatnik once again threatened with a header following a cross from Lalruatthara but goalkeeper Arindam Bhattacharya managed to palm the ball away for a corner.

The visitors nearly took the lead against the run of play towards the closing stages of the first period with Garcia unleashing a fierce shot towards the top-right corner of the Kerala goal. Thankfully for the hosts, Dheeraj Singh produced a magnificent fingertip save to deny the Spaniard.

Dheeraj was called into action early in the second half to stop Gerson Vieira’s attempt following a cross from Ricky Lallawmawma. The young custodian was kept busy with Garcia driving a low shot from distance into his arms moments later.

The hosts should have taken the lead at the hour mark with Slavisa Stojanovic finding himself unmarked in the box but the Serbian blasted his shot high and wide with the goal at his mercy. Minutes later, Poplatnik got plenty of power behind his shot from Prasanth’s layoff but Arindam pulled off an excellent save at the near post.

Kerala’s poor finishing would come back to bite them in the closing stages with ATK earning a free-kick in a dangerous area. Garcia stepped up to take the set-piece and his low shot sneaked under the ATK wall to beat Dheeraj.

The hosts equalized just minutes later with Poplatnik putting the ball into the net. Prasanth’s cross from the right was headed down by Poplatnik which took a touch off Vieira to beat the custodian.

Also Read: The impact of the Asian cup will be huge for Indian football, states Gurpreet Sandhu

Also Read: Kick the Taboo returns for season 2 but with a twist 

Follow Football Counter on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for all the latest happenings in the world of Indian football.

Sterling FA to conduct 2nd round of trials for MDFA 1st division team

Mumbai First Division side Sterling Football Academy will be conducting their 2nd round of trials for their MDFA 1st Division campaign this Saturday 29nd Feb Sterling Football Academy will be…

Share

Sterling FA to conduct trials for MDFA 1st division team

Mumbai First Division side Sterling Football Academy will be conducting trials for their MDFA 1st Division campaign this Saturday 22nd Feb Sterling Football Academy will be fielding a team in…

Share

Ex-Servicemen Social Education and Sports foundation to conduct trials for MDFA 1st & 3rd Division reams

Ex-Servicemen social education and sports foundation will be conducting trials for their MDFA 1st Division & 3rd Division sides The first round of trials for MDFA club Ex-Servicemen social education and…

Share

MDFA to host trials for WIFA Inter District Men’s Open Football Championship

The Mumbai District Football Association (MDFA), the governing body for football in Mumbai district is set to host their coaching camps and selection trials for the WIFA Inter District Men’s…

Share

Trials for Inter-District Football Championship to be held on 21st December

The Mumbai District Football Association (MDFA) will hold trials for the Girls-Inter District Football Championship to be held in Palghar in January 2020 Interested players must be at the venue…

Share

MDFA Super Division side India Culture league to conduct trials

India Culture League (ICL) will be holding trials for their senior team which would be participating in MDFA Super Division The team will be playing under the guidance of Coach Mr….

Share

Mumbai Ultras FC to conduct open trials

Mumbai Ultras FC, who will feature in the MDFA Super Division, will be conducting try-outs for city footballers this Thursday Footballers from the city and its suburbs have an opportunity to showcase…

Share

Maurya Foundation to conduct trial for TDFA Senior Division League

Maurya Foundation has announced that they will be conducting trials for the upcoming Thane District football Association Senior Division league on 23rd & 24th November 2019. The trials will go underway…

Share

Sportsfort Academy to host trials for age group 6-16

Mumbai based Sportsfort Academy to conduct trials for age groups category (U-6 to U-16) on 2nd and 3rd November.  Sportsfort Academy is a high excellence and premium academy aimed at…

Share

MDFA Elite side Kenkre Football Club to host trials for 2019-20 Season

Kenkre Football Club will host their trials for the 2019-20 season on 22nd and 24th of October 2019. Over the years, Kenkre Football Club has become one of the top…

Share