Under the shroud of dejection of Paris attacks, Delhi Dynamos and Atletico de Kolkata met at the capital, in a must win game for both teams.
Coming back fresh from his national duties, Robin Singh would have resumed duties for Delhi Dynamos on a high, having scored the winner against Guam. Chicao and Hans Mulder ruled the central midfield area while Malouda was supporting the striker. Dos Santos came in the wings aimed to make life difficult for the overlapping wing backs of the visitors.
On the other hand, Atletico de Kolkata made a few changes as Valdo started in the attacking third along with Sameehg Doutie and Iain Hume. Augustine Fernandez returned in the centre of the defence with Tiri.
The line-up of both the sides emanated a defensive outlook. It was clear that neither wanted to give away points in the race for the play offs.
Atletico de Kolkata had a few chances as Valdo and Hume seemed to combine effectively but the astute defense of Delhi made it impermeable for the Atk attack.
Robin Singh had a huge role to play with his brawny frame as he had a bag of tricks at his disposal. However, Atletico de Kolkata had the initial advantage of attacks. Delhi goalkeeper Doblas inspired confidence but his wayward touch led to the first goal in the 27th minute.
A harmless cross from Rino Anto was not dealt deservedly by the Delhi goalkeeper and his parry fell for Canadian Hume who made no mistake as he slammed home the first goal. Doblas could not validate his golden glove armband as his lapse was unpardonable.
The penetrative movement of the defending champions in their away outing was praiseworthy. Borja Fernandez and Gavillan made occasional forays into the Delhi defense but the tracking fervour of ATK, left acres of space for Mulder, Chicao and Malouda to string some passes.
The move of Habas to instate Valdo upfront allowed Hume to spread his presence in the entire playing zone. Atletico made it a neat display with a number of passes in their build up as they went about in search for their a second consecutive win.
Delhi Dynamos made an attacking start in the second half as Amrinder Singh had to make a save from Malouda long ranger.
Ghanaian Richard Gadze was introduced in the 55th minute even as Dos Santos was disappointed to be subbed off by Roberto Carlos. The move paid off within five minutes when Gadze equalized with a left footed stunner. His youthfulness and strength was well utilised as he unleashed a shot which beat Amrinder comfortably.
Gadze was in the news again as rattled the post in the 77th minute. Atletico de Kolkata was let off narrowly when his rebound effort went outside. The visitors were left wanting for a fresh pair of legs but Habas kept his cards close to his chest.
The last few minutes saw the away team strive for a draw as they made reckless fouls to interrupt the Delhi play. A lot of back passes made it clear that Atletico de Kolkata wanted to sit on their defensive accord and score from a counterattack or a set piece maybe.
Another neat finish from Gadze was ruled offside in the dying minutes of the game. It reflected the mood of the Delhi Dynamos as the home team looked intent on snatching a last gasp winner.
The decision of Habas to not introduce Izumi Arata was inexplicable. Maybe it was a move to retain the exuberance for the remaining home matches. It remains to be seen whether this away point proves to be a real victory for Atletico de Kolkata.