Durand Cup 2019: 3 reasons why ATK couldn't defeat the Indian Navy
ATK played out a 1-1 draw against the Indian Navy at the Salt Lake Stadium on Monday evening to begin their Durand Cup campaign. After trailing by a goal till the 88th minute, skipper Prabir Das scored from the spot to snatch a point from the fixture.
Starting as the underdogs, the Indian Navy startled everyone by their offensive approach. The efforts finally reaped a reward in the 19th minute. They were unfortunate not to pull off a deserving upset after conceding the equaliser late in the match, when the referee awarded a penalty for a handball.
ATK will play their next match against Mohun Bagan on August 8, while the Indian Navy will face an uphill task when they lock horns with Mohammedan Sporting Club two days later on August 10.
Let us have a look at the 3 reasons why ATK couldn't defeat the Indian Navy:
#3 Indian Navy push above their weigh
The men from the Indian Navy put up a spirited performance from the first minute itself, but it was laudable how they maintained the tempo throughout the match. The inclusion of I-League star Britto PM gave the team the desired balance, and helped them penetrate ATK’s defence several times.
The goal was a result of a counter-attack by the Navy, Harikrishna received the ball when he was unguarded. After a couple of touches, he dribbled past ATK’s goalkeeper Abhilash Paul to send the ball at the back of the net to give them the lead. A second-string team was deputed to see off the match, but the task was not so easy for the Kolkata-based side.
#2 Lack of intent in the attacking third
The Indian Super League outfit played at their home venue, in front of their fans, but still failed to take advantage of the situation. If not for the penalty awarded to them, they could have well ended up on the losing side. One of the major problems in their game was their inability to convert the chances they created.
On several occasions, when the ball was in the attacking third, the forwards did not receive the ball with efficiency. There was an abundant supply of aerial balls from the full;-backs, but the Navy averted danger each time. Whenever the ATK players went for the kill, Indian Navy increased the number of players at the back and blcoked them.
#1 ATK's casual approach
Even after trailing by a goal at the beginning of the second half, ATK’s approach was very casual. They’ve managed to build-up play in quick succession, but they lost track in the final third. Skipper and their most experienced player Prabir Das was the main initiator of the attacks, operating from his usual right-back position.
Hitesh Sharma was one of the better players on the pitch, he often created problems for the defenders. Young Komal Thatal had an average day, while custodian Avilash Paul also made a couple of crucial saves.