The second round of the Indian Super League kick-started with a fixture between Atletico de Kolkata and NorthEast United. Both teams would be gunning for a win, that would eventually lead them to a comfortable first position.
Faring in a 4-4-2 formation, with James Keene and Durga Boro, playing as targetmen, the John Abraham co-owned NorthEast United , was welcomed by a full house, full of roars, in Guwahati.
Meanwhile, Atletico de Kolkata, boasted an inform Fikru, who also scored the opening goal of the Super League. The Sourav Ganguly franchisee lined up in a 4-2-3-1, with marquee player Luis Garcia operating as the creative midfielder.
The match started with light blows being exchanged between the two sides, admist crowd cheering every single touch from a north east united player.
Atletico de Kolkata started with a bang, minutes later, as they tested the tall Greek Keeper. After a furry of Kolkata attacks, North East United started to get back into the game, with a couple of attacking threats.
A 14th minute, Fikru goal, followed by a Nani-esque celebration, after a decent chip through ball from Luis Garcia, did justice to the Kolkata Dominance.
North East United attempted to equalize their deficit, with a 16th minute cross into the 18 yard box, which was dealt comfortably by Arnab. Kolkata flexed their attacking muscle, even more so, than the 21st minute finesse shot, which was subsequently saved superbly by Alex.
With Kolkata comfortably sitting, and dictating play, North East United tried to develop play and reverted to long ball antics.
Resolute and solid defending from the Sourav Ganguly Franchisee, proved a bed of thorns, for the attacking duo of Keene and Durga. A long range shot kept out safely by Alex around the 33rd minute marker, justified how the game, was becoming more and more compact.
With North East constantly failing to break the defensive barrier made by Kolkata’s back four, an air of desperation surrounded the stadium. Durga Boro fell prey to the uneasy environment, as he shot way off target and into the crowd, minutes later.
Last minutes of the half, witnessed in the game being dissected open, as end to end stuff, initiated. After a constant stream of attack after attack by both sides, the half concluded with Atletico de Kolkata, leading by a one goal to nil.
The Second half, started with a long ball, into Kolkata’s half, met by a half confident Chansa , who miscued the ball, miles away. Seconds later, a glancing header, tested Kolkata’s pedigree.
Probably, after a quiet second half, Tomas Josl was brought on for Issac Chansa, in what was supposed to be an attacking change by the Highlanders.
A counter attack to no good effect in the 68th minute, was perhaps the best bet of the North East Franchisee, which resulted to no good effect.
The match often was being played in the midfield region, with neither team testing the opposite goalkeeper, regularly, a feature which was constant throughout the first half.
Minutes later, James Keene missed a sitter, which would have been the equalizer, and perhaps lifeline for the ailing Highlanders, which failed to display their acumen and skill.
Around the 77th minute, Ralte slipped in an inviting cross from the left flank, which was dealt with ease, by the Atletico back four.
Atletico de Kolkata, reduced their chances of risk, as they started to put men behind the ball.
Minutes later, Dong Hyun Do capitalises on the error made by the defender. He finds space on the left flank and puts in the cross after a couple of touches. The cross is a good one but slightly short of his teammate. The ball is cleared by the defender but straight to Adinga who takes a shot which lacks venom and goes straight to Roy.
North East United started to play diagonal balls, and looked to capitalize from the speed present on the wings.
Borja Fernandes, fell victim to the first ever red card in the 83rd minute, as his two yellows resulted in a red.
Deep into injury time Pody scores to double the lead and surely seal the game! Sanju puts in a searching cross from the right flank. Boithang puts in a swimming pool dive but fails to intercept the cross. Pody gets the ball, chests it down, and blazes it past keeper to find the net, There is pin drop silence in the stadium. The visitors have stunned the home side here.
With this win, Atletico de Kolkata, boast an impeccable 6points with 5goals scored and 0goals conceded.