Atletico de Kolkata and Delhi Dynamos shared the spoils as their match ended in a goalless draw at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Delhi on Tuesday. While the draw puts the Kolkata franchise closer to the semi-finals, the Delhi team lost an opportunity to make a run for the top four.
Delhi’s first miss
Delhi Dynamos started with purpose. In the 18th minute, the home team had an opportunity to take the lead. Yet, poor execution let them down. Mads Junker’s shot, after getting deflected, went to Souvik Chakraborty whose kick was fisted away by Atletico custodian Apoula Edel.
Poor finishing by Atletico De Kolkata
Atletico had a flurry of chances to grab the 3 points but the Sourav Ganguly-owned side failed to show their magic touch. Poor finishing has plagued the team recently, and has been one of the main reasons behind their fall from the top position to the third.
Masih and Fikru fail to score for ATK
Tuesday evening was no exception. Rakesh Masih and Kolkata’s star Ethiopian striker Fikru Teferra Lemessa, each had a shot from outside the box but failed to find the net. Fikru has been instrumental in putting Atletico de Kolkata on top of the table but seems to be off-colour in these last few games. Unfortunately, Fikru’s lack of form has had a major effect on the team’s performance.
Sahni misses golden chance
To compound Kolkata’s misery, Baljit Sahni also put up a disappointing show in the first half. Czech winger Jakub Podany dashed through the left wing and set up Sahni for the goal. However, the East Bengal striker fumbled at the last minute and narrowly missed the post. Podany made an attempt again but his effort bore no fruit as Sahni once more was not in position for the perfect finish.
Gustavo dos Santos cannot convert
In the second half, it fell on the shoulders of Delhi Dynamos’ Brazilian playmaker Gustavo dos Santos to convert a chance for the northern team. The Brazilian came close to scoring but the ATK goalkeeper Edel, intercepted right in time.
Both the teams concentrated more on their defensive units in this game. The tight defence nullified any attacking momentum. Atletico de Kolkata was offered another glimmer of hope in the 75th minute as a free kick was awarded to the visitors. Spanish midfielder Borja Fernandez’s kick however landed right in the hands of Delhi custodian Kristof van Hout.
Atletico de Kolkata still in third spot
The Kolkata outfit now have 18 points from 12 games and remain at the third spot. Even though they have the same points as FC Goa, they are one rung below due to inferior goal difference.
As for Delhi, this was a golden chance to be in contention for the semis. A win would have straightaway shot them up into the top four teams. Their tally of 14 points from 12 games keeps them in fifth position and they will now have to do all the running for a semi-final spot.