Two goals from Cavin Lobo, lead Atletico de Kolkata to a win against FC Goa, in a heated encounter, which resulted in as many as eight bookings, with regular banter between Arnolin and Fikru, its high point.
An Andre Santos, cutting through players, from the first minute itself, displayed Goan intentions to win the match, clear. FC Goa started with their traditional 4-1-4-1 formation, as Clifford Miranda featured on the left wing while Robert Pires started in his new holding role. It was Andre Santos’s, first match at home, and the Brazilian, was applauded with touch of the ball.
Meanwhile, league leaders Atletico de Kolkata started with Edel, who replaced Roy, in the goalkeeping department. Surprisingly, the midfield trio of Nato, Borja and Jofre started, sidelining Arnal Lilbert, who was dubbed to be the injured Garcia’s replacement.
As both sides, crossed swords, light blows were exchanged, as both team developed a contained start into the game. FC Goa developed an approach with consisted of attacking from the wings, while Atletico de Kolkata, happily sat back, defended their space and relied on counter attacks.
A scuffle between Gregory Arnolin and Fikru broke out in Goa’s 18yard box, as both players committed themselves to the ball. A fight which saw Arnolin go down theatrically, eluded a booking, as the referee calmed things.
A Knee injury to Denzil Franco, who had been solid so far, added to the woes of Atletico de Kolkata. With a man down, playing with 10 men, FC Goa took complete advantage of the situation.
Seconds later, a well placed pass by Miranda, found Ranti Martins, who setup the bombarding Andre Santos for Goa’s opening goal. The Brazilian blasted the ball home, beating debutant keeper Elder, as Atletico de Kolkata conceded their second goal in this season.
With Goa leading, Gabriel and Miranda proved constant thorns to the Kolkata side, as both drifted wide, and released defense splitting passes. Atletico de Kolkata, meanwhile, relied heavily on counters and an array of long shots by Sahni followed.
FC Goa led 1-0 comfortably, as Half time approached, sitting deep and clearing pressure, constantly.
The Second half began with FC Goa on constant attack, with Gabriel yet again proving to be the creative outlet. A 48th minute penalty shout by Gabriel, was quickly denied by the referee, as he was brought down, hustling and bustling past the Kolkata defenders.
The game soon was constantly affected by freekicks, as both teams found difficult to adjust to the ever changing game tempo.
A goal keeping howler, which was kept out safely by the post, affected Atletico de Kolkata side, as they found it difficult to link plays, meanwhile FC Goa constantly dominated the final third, Miranda and Santos, finding spaces to exploit.
Against the run of play, Atletico de Kolkata, found the equaliser in the 71st minute, as a decent chip by Fikru followed by a volley by Cavin Lobo, splitted the Goan Defense.
Minutes later, an Andre Santos freekick, gave Kolkata chills, as the ball whiskered past the left post. Goa, regularly exploited the Kolkata side, which looked leggy and running high on fatigue.
Approaching full time, the match evolved into a quiet affair, as both teams safeguarded their points, with neither taking risks.
An 81st minute 20yard stunner by Cavin Lobo, stunned the Goan Audience, as a clean strike eluded goalkeeper Jan Seda. Atletico de Kolkata, yet again, against the run of play stole a goal, with Cavin Lobo becoming the first Indian Player to score two goals.
Minutes later, Sylvian Monsoreau was introduced for Fikru, as Coach Habas, introduced a defender, in a tactical switch made to earn all three points.
Although FC Goa captured hearts, by their beautiful passing game, Atletico de Kolkata won the match, justifying their sheer class infront of goal, even though Fikru eluded the score sheet.
With this win, Atletico de Kolkta amass 10points in 4 games, running away at the top of the Super League, while FC Goa succumb to a disappointing 6th place, with 1 point in 3games.