ISL 2018-19: ATK 0-0 FC Goa – 5 talking points
ATK put up an inspiring performance to hold FC Goa by a goalless draw at their home in Salt Lake Stadium on Wednesday. This is the second straight goalless draw for ATK after they were held by Mumbai City FC in their last match.
Though both the teams failed to find the back of the net, the match was an exciting affair from start to end. Considered as the Clasico, the match lived up to its expectation. Both sides had their chances to score but will rue the missed opportunities which could’ve earned them three points.
With this draw, Goa climbed to the second position after Bengaluru FC with 17 points from nine matches. NorthEast United FC have the same number of points but inferior goal difference pushed them back in the third position. ATK remained in the sixth position with 12 points from nine matches and now need to pull out all sorts to make it to the last four.
The match witnessed a few occasions when the referee had to intervene to take control of the situation. Pranoy Halder made a high-footed challenge to Edu Bedia and was immediately punished with a yellow card. But the drama was not over. Andre Bikey and Carlos Pena were involved in a small battle and after little huff and puff, both were booked by the referee. Bikey may be lucky not to get a second yellow on another occasion when he vehemently protested one of the decisions by the official.
Goa coach Sergio Lobera was also cautioned by the referee after he protested the decision to book Pena. Surprisingly, ATK’s assistant coach Wally Downes escaped a caution after he mocked the referee with his gestures from the touchline, which was caught clearly in the TV replay:
#5 Goa’s defensive woes need to be addressed now
Goa might consider themselves as lucky not to concede a goal from their opponent. The underperformance by their defenders gets exposed in every game they are playing.
ATK had only 34 per cent of ball possession. They also had less number of shots on goal. But considering real goal-scoring chances, ATK had many, thanks to the inability of Goa defenders to stop them.
Sana Singh was playing as left-back for suspended Mohammed Ali. But he’s still inexperienced in this level as most of ATK’s attacks were created from the left side. Hitesh Sharma and Ankit Mukherjee were creating havoc on the left side, which the visitors had no answer. The central defence consisting Fall and Chiglesana Singh can give a headache on any match.
There were two persons on the pitch who prevented Goa from conceding a goal. Eighteen-year-old goalkeeper Mohammad Nawaz made a couple of good saves to keep a clean sheet at the end of the day. Another one is Ahmed Jahouh, who made timely interceptions to keep the ball out of danger.