ISL 2018-19: 3 reasons why ATK lost to NorthEast United FC
ATK failed to resuscitate their campaign as they tasted second successive defeat in Indian Super League season 5 here at Salt Lake stadium on Thursday. NorthEast United FC, after their spirited fight against FC Goa, finally got their due this time. Rowllin Borges’s header in 89th minute separated the two teams, which was an exciting affair.
ATK though suffered an early setback. They played more than an hour with ten men as left-back Sena Ralte was shown a red card (second yellow) for his challenge against Nikhil Kadam. But their defence was resolute to keep NorthEast at bay for the most part of the match. But lack of concentration towards the end cost them all the three points.
Federico Gallego’s corner was met by Borges, who was completely unmarked. That was the only shot on target by the Highlanders in the whole match. Bartholomew Ogbeche could have scored another, had he not been denied by John Johnson.
The NorthEast goalkeeper TP Rehenesh should have been sent off as early as in the 6th minute too. During an ATK corner, he punched Gerson Vieira’s face but the referee somehow overlooked the affair, despite Vieira’s vehement protest.
Let us look at the three reasons why ATK lost:
#1 Opportunities created and missed
Despite an inferior ball possession, ATK created more chances in front of the goal. They controlled the proceedings in the midfield for the first 15 minutes. NEUFC at that time were relying more on counter attacks.
The situation changed after Ralte’s red card. Balwant came down to take the left-back position, where he often played during his time with Chennaiyin FC. When Ricky Lallawmawma was introduced, Balwant moved upfront and paired with Manuel Lanzarote.
Lanzarote was at the centre of ATK’s attack for most of the evening. He created chances, took the ball from the opponent but failed to finish it off. He was in fine form previous season for FC Goa. But after having a bad day in office against Kerala, he came back to his old self. But that was not enough to secure all three points. Even defender John Johnson had two glorious chances but both of them went wide.
They had four shots on target including a superb free-kick from their captain Lanzarote. But the day was not for them.