ISL 2016: Atletico de Kolkata 1-1 NorthEast United - 5 talking points
The battle between the two sides from the east made for a surprising climax.
Atletico de Kolkata hosted Guwahati’s NorthEast United at the Rabindra Sarovar Stadium for a match where both sides badly needed a positive result. NEU were one point behind Goa at the bottom of the table and Kolkata needed to hoist themselves above a mid-table position.
With just one home victory for ATK so far this season, a victory for NorthEast wasn’t unlikely and for most of the game, a win for the Highlanders seemed certain. Sereno and Arnab Mondal combined to make a horrible mistake within the opening five minutes of the game, allowing Nico Velez to give the visiting side an early lead.
ATK did their best to get past the organised NEU defence but to no avail. ATK were surely headed for a defeat when a set piece changed it all in the final minute. Javi Lara delivered a beautiful free kick which Postiga rose to meet and headed it towards the far post where a waiting Hume tapped it in.
Here are the five major talking points of the game:
#1 A moment of panic
How many times have we seen defenders choosing the wrong pass when they’ve been put under pressure by the opposition? That’s exactly what Alfaro did when he forced Sereno into a shameful error that could have meant a defeat for the Kolkata side. Both sides were still looking for the best way in when Alfaro caught a lucky break thanks to Sereno’s nervous reaction.
The Uruguayan was hot on his heels when he tried passing the ball to Arnab Mondal. Mondal did an equally bad job of getting to it. He slipped and allowed Velez to come in, who just had to go past the keeper after that. Skipping over Debjit’s outstretched arms was absolutely no problem for the Argentine as he calmly put the ball in the back of the net.
NorthEast’s early lead became a huge advantage for the side as it allowed them to sit back and absorb any threat from the home side.