Despite being reduced to 10 men, Delhi Dynamos maintained their unbeaten record at home after a fighting 2-2 draw against Atletico de Kolkata in the Hero Indian Super League at Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, Delhi.
Atletico de Kolkata is the only team to have defeated Delhi Dynamos this season and were on course for another upset when Iain Hume gave them the lead in 17th minute. The former champions had an added advantage when Delhi Dynamos striker Badara Badji was sent off for two yellow cards in the 44th minute but there was plenty of drama in the second session as Milan Singh (63rd) tied the match for Delhi, then Javi Lara (71st minute) again gave Atletico de the lead, only for Florent Malouda (74th) to make it 2-2. Malouda’s equaliser for Delhi Dynamos helped him redeem himself after the former Chelsea midfielder had missed a second-half penalty.
The draw left Delhi Dynamos at the top with 17 points from 10 matches while Atletico de Kolkata picked up their fourth point in the last four matches to occupy the fourth spot with 13 points.
This was an extraordinary contest and did not appear to be heading this way when Iain Hume provided Atletico de Kolkata the lead in 17th minute. It was South African midfielder Sameehg Doutie who played a delightful through ball for Hume, who after seeing goalkeeper Toni Doblas come out, placed the ball perfectly into the nets. Atletico de Kolkata had the upper hand after Delhi striker Badara Badji picked up his second booking of the match for a needless handball and was sent off in the first half itself.
In the second session, the match saw frenetic developments, starting in the 60th minute when Marcelinho was brought down by Prabir Das and won a penalty. Malouda stepped up to take the penalty but his low effort was blocked by goalkeeper Debjit Majumder. Delhi, however, were not to be denied the equaliser three minutes later as Milan Singh beat a diving Debjit with a left-footed screamer from outside the box.
The visitors had a player advantage and made it count in the 71st minute to take the lead for the second time. It was Lalrindika Ralte from the left who pushed the ball for Helder Postiga. The ball, however, fell for an unmarked Lara and he smashed it into the nets, giving no chance to the rival goalkeeper.
Delhi were down at this stage but not out of the game. Malouda redeemed himself for his missed penalty with the equaliser in the 74th minute. The former French midfielder controlled a ball with his back to the wall, got the ball past two defenders and calmly slotted it past the goalkeeper.
It was however the former Arrows midfielder Milan Singh who grabbed the limelight with his fantastic goal. The 24 year old has been a permanent figure in the Dynamos side and has shown why he is so highly rated in the Indian Football circles. ATK next host NorthEast United on the 17th hoping to consolidate their place in the top four with a win while the Dynamos travel to Pune to take on FC Pune City.