ATK hosted Northeast United in match number 90 of this season’s ISL which was also the penultimate game of the group stages. Last season’s champions ATK had a horrendous season so far and wanted to end their season on a high. Northeast United on the other hand never really got their season started and their football improved only after ex Chelsea manager Avram Grant took over. Both the teams had not just pride but also the bonus of not finishing as the bottom-placed team in the league to play for.
A win for either of the teams would have meant that they would have finished above the bottom-placed team.
ATK took an early lead in the first half with a Robbie Keane goal. The early first-half goal turned out to be the vital winning goal which decided the game as ATK defeated NEUFC 1-0. It was the same old story for NEUFC as they created tons of opportunities but failed to convert them.
On that note, let's take a look at the 5 Talking points of today’s game:
#1 Foreign Referees in a game of no value
A lot has been said about the quality of referees that have been on show during the ISL this season, and a lot of dubious or doubtful decisions have been lashed out throughout the season. It was rather late on during the season that the authorities decided to appoint foreign referees during the ISL.
The decision though was met with its fair share of criticism too, as a lot of football pundits felt that hiring foreign referees does not help solve the issues of the Indian referees.
The main question though is why appoint a foreign referee for a game that has literally zero impact on the league and in a game where both the teams are playing for pride more than anything else. Games like these are perfect opportunities to give the Indian referees a chance and then examine their pros and cons.