ISL: ATK held by FC Goa at home

Atletico de Kolkata continued to remain winless at home as the bottom-placed FC Goa picked up its first point holding ATK to a 1-1 draw in the Hero Indian Super League here at the Rabindra Sarobar Stadium on Sunday.

Joffre slots in the penalty for FC Goa.   -  Sportzpics

Atletico de Kolkata continued to remain winless at home as the bottom-placed FC Goa picked up its first point holding ATK to a 1-1 draw in the Hero Indian Super League here at the Rabindra Sarobar Stadium on Sunday.

More than the goals, the match remained remarkable for the number of cards shown by the Mexican referee Fernando Ramirez. Both teams were reduced to 10 men in the second half as ATK’s Scottish midfielder Stephen Pearson was sent off in the 53rd minute before Goa defender Sanjay Balmuchu was shown a red card after his second booking in the 60th minute. This apart there were eight more bookings in the game.

While the host, which took the lead in the sixth minute off a goal from Sameehg Doutie, lost two points at home, the draw fetched FC Goa, the last year’s runner-up, its first point of the tournament. Former ATK midfielder Joffre Mateu found the equaliser from a penalty in the 76th minute.

Three bookings for Goa in around five minutes came to determine the outcome of the first half. Referee Ramirez flashed three yellow cards immediately after Goa defender Raju Gaekwad brought down attacker Iain Hume near the box. As the Goa players rushed in to protest the decision, Ramirez cautioned two more Goa defenders — Sanjay Balmuchu and Frenchman Gregory Arnolin — who tried to question the referee's decision.

This was enough to rattle the visitor, which conceded the goal in the resultant free-kick. Javi Lara, the Spanish winger who scored two great goals for ATK in the previous two matches. Gaekwad attempted a feeble clearance just to find Doutie on edge of the box. The South African winger made no mistake with a rasping volley to find the net.

Goa was fortunate not to concede more as the host looked more organised in its attack. Lara made two fine attempts and Hume had a good chance in the 71st minute but the scoreline remained unchanged as Goa custodian Subhasish Roy Choudhury made some good saves.

A rather controversial moment defined the equaliser for the visitor in the end when the ATK captain Borja Fernandez was hauled up for handling the ball while trying to clear a low corner from Mateu. Mateu made no mistake from the spot to help Goa clock a point while the host preserved its unbeaten record in the tournament against the visitor.

The result: Atletico Kolkata 1 (Sameehg Doutie 6) drew with FC Goa 1 (Joffre Mateu 76-pen). Player of the match – Doutie.

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