Kolkata, Jan 4: FC Goa held reigning champions ATK to a 1-1 draw in an unprecedented Indian Super League (ISL) tie which kicked-off two hours and forty five minutes after scheduled time on Wednesday and ended more than half an hour past midnight on Thursday here at the Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan.
In the aftermath of a MiG-29K aircraft catching fire after skidding off the runway at Goa’s Dabolim International Airport on Wednesday morning, FC Goa players were left stranded at the airport all day before a chartered flight from New Delhi flew them from their base to Kolkata.
The visitors landed at 8:59 p.m. and headed straight to the venue.
The Sergio Lobera-coached side reached the stadium at 9:42 p.m. and were seen inspecting the pitch for some time before holding a huddled meeting near the touchline.
The teams were then seen warming up in sneakers, black jackets and shorts as reports of their kit not arriving surfaced.
The match, which was originally postponed to 9 p.m. from regular kickoff time of 8 p.m., was first pushed back to first 10:15 p.m. and then 10:45 p.m., when it actually began.
On the pitch, Robbie Keane (4th) made of most of visibly rusty Goa players to nod in a Ryan Taylor free kick to which goalkeeper Laxmikant Kattimani could only get his fingertips.
ATK could hold on to their slender lead for 20 minutes before Goa, braving all adversity, equalised courtesy their marksman and joint top-scorer Ferran Corominas (24th) who scored his ninth goal of the campaign so far to pip Bengaluru Fc’s Miku who is also on eight goals.
Manuel Lanzarote set him up from the inside right channel with the Spanish striker rounding keeper Debjit Majumdar and placing the ball in the back of the net.
Prabir Das tried to keep the ball out with a desperate slide but in vain.
At halftime, both teams were locked 1-1. In the second period, both teams had chances to take the lead but could not find the winner.
The result saw ATK remain in seventh position with nine points from seven games while Goa moved up a rung to fourth from fifth place with 13 points from seven outings.