Atletico de Kolkata registered their first win in the campaign with a 1-0 victory over the hosts Kerala Blasters with a 52nd winner from Spanish midfielder, Javi Lara. The visitors, who came into the match after a drawing their home game against defending champions Chennaiyin FC looked the better side on the pitch throughout the game.
The head coach of Atletico, Jose Molina was seen delighted with his team’s performance. When asked whether he is happy with his team’s performance Molina was quoted saying, “Yes absolutely happy.The most important thing is always to win. We had a tough match last Sunday and had to travel to Kochi without much rest. We had a good game today, we have got areas to improve, on the last pass and on finishing to try and score more goals.”
He also felt that the Atletico goal was indeed a lucky goal.”In the second half maybe we had a lucky goal, like the one we suffered in the last match in Kolkata. May be the luck had come back to us,” quipped the 46-year-old.
However, the win also saw their marquee player Helder Postiga being pulled out after suffering an injury to his rib. However, he couldn’t enlighten anyone regarding the situation.
“Postiga is a strong lad, after a strong tackle from the defender in the first half he didn’t feel well enough to play and well we will see tomorrow when we go back to Kolkata and go to a hospital. We have to run some tests to check it and it’s not something for me to say.”
Right after the Postiga substitution, there was a switch between positions for Iain Hume and Javi Lara, when asked to comment on that Molina quoted, “We felt that we can do one touch with Javi Lara in the middle, he is good with combinations and it was a right decision.”
Kerala Blaster went into the game under with attrition hitting their choices od the first eleven. While Aaron Hughes was summoned by Northern Ireland for national duties, Ishfaq Ahmed missed out owing to an injury. Whilst not wanting to comment much on his opponents’ bad luck, he was happy that his side made the most of a weakened backline
“I can’t talk about Kerala Blasters lineup, but I think we took advantage of the situation we made a good cross through the right and did one by one with Josu a lot of times. I think we played really well in the first half maybe not so much in the second half but in the first half we played really well.”
There was a controversial moment in the match when Blasters forward Kervens Belfort went down under a challenge from Lalrindika Ralte in the box but the referee who had a good view on the challenge booked the Haitian International for a dive inside the penalty box. When asked to comment on the incident Molina replied it in a typical managerial way saying, “I don’t know, it was too, far from me but from the bench. I thought it wasn’t a penalty.The referee is close and he said no penalty, I can’t say nothing about it.”
Atletico will take on Mumbai City FC in their next match at the opponent’s home turf.