Atletico de Kolkata are on the brink of qualifying for the playoff for the third time running in the ISL after a win away from home at Goa. The win was priceless for Jose Molina and his men as it now sees them three points clear of fifth place with just two games to go, comfortably perched in third spot having gained 18 points from 12 games.
However, the game also saw the worst of their marquee star Helder Postiga this season. The Portuguese was stifled when on the ball by FC Goa (although he did hit the crossbar from a header) and that led to some ugly scenes. The former Spurs man, in fact, can count himself lucky not to be shown a red card for a late and reckless swipe at Goan midfielder, Trindade Goncalves.
That was followed by a walk down the tunnel after he was substituted in the second half by Molina as the Kolkata number 9 cut a desolate figure in the middle.
However, looking backwards, Postiga felt that it was something that was inadvertent and lamented that he couldn’t control his anger better. Having understood his mistake, he apologised to his team regarding the situation.
“In the last game, I felt frustrated. It just happens sometimes. I apologise to both my team as well as the other players, I will try to manage better the next time,” quipped Postiga.
Happy with the team
Kolkata’s main man in the middle was, however, comfortable about the situation his team is as the Indian Super League heads into the final stretch of games.
“The situation is comfortable for us. Thet team playing well and I firmly believe that if we continue in the same vein, our team will qualify for the playoffs,” said the 34-year-old. “However, tomorrow we will have a difficult game and our aim is to win.”
Atletico de Kolkata might give Manchester United a run for the title of “master of draws”. Jose Molina’s men have seen six of their twelve games end up in a stalemate. However, going into tomorrow’s crucial game against the Kerala Blasters, Postiga feels there is only one result Kolkata is looking for.
“We are going for a win. That’s the only result we look for whenever we take the field,” opined the former Porto man.
A better ISL
The forward also felt that the standard of the competition has increased in the ISL. In fact, he said in no uncertain terms that he feels the quality of players has increased and he was thrilled to see more young faces coming into the league and performing.
The marquee man, in fact, was also confident that five or six years, India will have a team to be proud about.
The Rabindra Sarobar stadium hasn’t been a happy hunting ground for Atletico so far, winning only one of their five home games. However, Postiga knows fully well that tomorrow’s game against Kerala Blasters would be vital in ensuring a third consecutive playoff spot for Atletico de Kolkata.
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