ISL 2016: NorthEast United 1-2 Atletico de Kolkata - Player Ratings
With two wins each for NorthEast United and Atletico de Kolkata in this fixture, it was anyone’s guess who would come out as victors after the final whistle. NorthEast looked the far more threatening side in the first half – they were quick to break away and attack while Kolkata seemed measured and defensive. All their efforts finally paid off when Nirmal Chettri got a cross away from ATK’s Prabir Das and Emiliano Alfaro finished it off with a clear and clinical header.
Atletico changed things up in the second half by bringing on marquee player Helder Postiga and left-back Robert and equalised through a header from Postiga himself. NEU were unable to stem the flow of ATK’s attack and the visitors were soon leading 2-1 when Belencoso scored with a tap in.
In spite of a few chances towards the end of the game, Northeast failed to equalise and climb to the top of the table. Instead, it was the visiting team that came back from behind and with their first round of matches over, go up to the top of the ISL table.
In what was a game of two halves, here are the ratings for every player:
NorthEast United FC
Subrata Paul – 6/10
The veteran Indian keeper had a good first half where he dominated his own penalty area and made a few textbook saves. Unfortunately, he couldn’t keep out Helder Postiga’s quality header and he conceded a goal. He was injured soon after that trying to make a clearance and had to go off with his team tied against Kolkata.
Nirmal Chettri – 7/10
He displayed good defensive play in the first half while delivering a few good crosses in the box. He even got a shot on goal that was just wide of the mark. His biggest contribution of the night came when he ran past Prabir and delivered the assist for Alfaro’ s goal.
Didier Zokora – 5.5/10
Zokora made an important block that deflected Postiga’s attempt on goal just a little wide of the target at the beginning of the second half. Just a few minutes later, he lost out with Postiga as the Portuguese forward rose to head the ball and score ATK’s first goal of the night.
Gustavo Lazzaretti – 6/10
Gustavo made a superb block as ATK forward Belencoso tried to get away a shot on target. It was more of the same in the second half when he cleared away a dangerous cross into the box with a clever side-footed flick.
Robin Gurung – 5/10
Robin got a few tackles right during the game but didn’t have much to offer going forward.
Rowllin Borges – 6/10
Borges had a good first half where he was quick to win back the ball and release it to his teammates. He also made a few important recoveries in the midfield area.
Wellington Priori – 6/10
Wellington started the game slow and didn’t begin imposing himself on the ATK players until later in the first half. He had a half-and-half kind of night where he delivered a few great balls and made crucial recoveries but also delivered a few wasteful passes.
Katsumi Yusa – 8/10
The Japanese player was great going forward for Northeast United. He kept the defenders on their toes with his quick runs and a handful of good set-piece deliveries. He claimed a penalty when he was seemingly brought down by ATK goalkeeper Debjit but looked more like he went down too easily. Katsumi even did his defensive bit when he blocked a shot from Borja.
Holicharan Narzary – 5.5/10
It was Narzary’s defensive work that got him noticed today. He made a few great blocks although he could have probably done better to stop Didika from getting the ball across to Postiga when he scored ATK’ s goal.
Robert Cullen – 8/10
The half-Irish half-Japanese player was a thorn in ATK’s side all night as he kept running in behind defenders and even forced Debjit to make a couple of saves. His link up with Katsumi looked very profitable. Unfortunately, he had to be taken off in the second half to balance the number of foreign and Indian players on the field for NorthEast.
Emiliano Alfaro – 8.5/10
Alfaro was in great form for NorthEast tonight as he worked hard and bullied the ATK defenders. He scored his team’s only goal when he found space between the two ATK centre-backs and headed a clinical ball into the back of the net beyond Debjit’s reach.
Lima Gomes – 4/10
Lima came on for Subrata soon after they conceded their first goal. His debut was destined to be forgettable when he allowed Belencoso to get away with an easy tap in. He looked nervous and edgy as he came out of his area to make two hasty clearances later in the game.
Reagan Singh – 6/10
In a rare occurrence, Reagan came off the bench for NorthEast to replace Cullen in the 76th minute. He made an attempt to score as he sent a low shot towards goal but saw it saved by the keeper.
Passi – 5/10
Passi came on in the 84th minute and helped his team go on the attack in the final minutes but couldn’t make any tangible difference.