A very exciting day for ISL fans as there are two games today. League leaders Atletico de Kolkata host the Delhi Dynamos while North East United FC host FC Goa. After yesterday’s rampage on display by Mumbai City FC in the Maratha Derby against Pune, fans are craving for a similar show today too. Let’s review the first game between Kolkata and Delhi.
Atletico de Kolkata: Subhashish, Saha, Mondal, Josemi, Franco, Rafique, Garcia, Jofre, Nato, Podany, Fikru
Delhi Dyanmos: Van Hout, Raymaekers, Anwar, Elias, Shouvik G, Mulder, Francis, Mama, Souvik C, Bruno Herrero, Del Piero.
A slow start to the game by both teams. There was a penalty shout for Delhi but the referee spotted the dive and booked Del Piero for simulation. A controversial call at the start but the replays supported the referee’s decision and the home fans roared in appreciation. The Delhi wingers were trying to create chances but the Kolkata defence who hadn’t conceded a goal yet were easily clearing their attempts.
The game was slow and chances were very hard to come by and neither goalkeeper had to do any significant work. A golden chance fell for Fikru just before 20 minutes but he failed to capitalise. A sloppy back pass towards the keeper and Fikru latched on to it and ran but his shot was saved by the legs of the onrushing Delhi keeper Van Hout and it went out for a corner. Everybody expected him to score and continue his rich vein of form but the huge 6’10 keeper from Belgium did enough to prevent that.
The game opened up as both teams began to play with more poise but not many chances were created. Fikru was not looking his natural self as he wasted another chance sking a header from a corner. Just around the 30 minute mark, a dipping shot by Shylo from just outside the box beat the goalkeeper but hit the top the bar and the home fans were fearing for the worst just let out a sigh of relief.
The Second half began with a shock for the Kolkata fans as Captain and Marquee player Luis Garcia had been subbed off for Masih. But thing soon turned around as Fikru was clearly pulled back by Raymaekers and was booked for an absolutely astonishing challenge awarded Atletico de Kolkata a penalty. Jofre stepped up for the penalty and he slotted it into the right bottom corner sending Van Hout in the wrong direction.
And as the game just passed the hour mark Kolkata got another scoring chance. A cross from the right is headed towards Jofre, who volleyed the ball first time towards goal but his attempt was parried away by Van Hout but the ball went onto Sahni whose shot was saved again by Van Hout and it went out for a corner.
Delhi had their own few chances again but they failed to work Subashish in the Kolkata goal. While Delhi kept most of the ball and kept dictating play, Kolkata were letting them have the ball and are playing on the counter.
Eventually it took an absolute stunner by Delhi Right back Pavel Elias who volleyed the ball perfectly into the top corner and Atletico de Kolkata conceded their first goal of the tournament. A deflected cross from the left landed perfectly for Elias who volleyed it from just outside the box.
A huge fight broke out between the players as Del Piero kicked Franco on the right wing. The intensity of the game was truly seen as all the players on the pitch except for the keepers got involved. After that incident, moments later Rakesh Masih, the substitute earned his second booking and was sent off. An obvious foul as he went with his studs straight into Del Piero. For the second consecutive game, Kolkata were down to ten men.
Golden chance for Delhi right at the end but Dos Santos, who came on for Del Piero skied the ball high over the goal. The full time whistle was subsequently blown after the goal kick and for the first time this season Kolkata dropped points.
All in all the game was slightly dull in the first half but the second half was really good and provided us with both the goals. A very intense and physical game with a lot of fiery moments too. It will be interesting to watch the next time these two sides meet up and we hope to witness an even better goal than the one today.
Man of the Match: Pavel Elias