ISL: ATK leaves FC Goa on the brink

Atletico de Kolkata scored a late goal to leave FC Goa on the brink of elimination in a 2-1 win at the Jawaharlal Nehru stadium in Fatorda, Goa.

Atletico de Kolkata maintained its excellent unbeaten record against FC Goa as it scripted a dramatic 2-1 victory to leave FC Goa on the brink of elimination from the Indian Super League at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Fatorda on Thursday.

Juan Belencoso gave ATK the lead in the 28th minute but FC Goa equalised through Mandar Rao Desai 10 minutes from time. The visitor however had the last laugh after scoring the matchwinner in the second minute of added time through Stephen Pearson.

The victory took Kolkata to second place with 18 points from 12 matches and almost knocked out FC Goa as the team coached by Zico is at the bottom with 11 points from 12 matches.

Zico welcomed several players who were forced to sit out through suspensions and injuries but it was Atletico de Kolkata which came up with a dominating show in the first session. Spanish players Javi Lara and Borja Fernandez controlled the midfield while up front Helder Postiga and Juan Belencoso were a constant threat.

It didn’t take long for ATK to exert its influence on the game and the visitor had the first chance in the seventh minute. Abhinash Ruidas sent in a good cross from the left with which Postiga tried to test the goalkeeper. The ball instead deflected and fell for Belencoso but his effort from close range was blocked by the legs of goalkeeper Laxmikant Kattimani.

Kattimani was again in top form when he denied Javi Lara’s angular shot from just inside the box but the Goa goalkeeper could do nothing when Belencoso jumped high to meet a cross from Ruidas in the 28th minute.

Despite being behind, Goa could not create any chances of note. Rafael Coelho’s ambitious overhead kick from a Joffre Gonzalez corner was the closest it got but had Postiga’s header not hit the crossbar from Lara’s corner, it would have been all over for Goa.

Even in the second session, Kolkata continued to miss chances. Postiga’s shot after Richarlyson gave the ball away in a dangerous position was saved by Kattimani and Belencoso should have done better in the 60th minute with only the goalkeeper to beat.

The match turned interesting in the last 10 minutes after Mandar Rao Dessai scored the equaliser for FC Goa in the 80th minute. The Goa midfielder received the ball just outside the box and unleashed a powerful grounder which beat Kolkata goalkeeper Debjit Majumder.

For the last 10 minutes, FC Goa literally camped in the Kolkata half and allowed space for the visitor to score the match winner in the second minute of added time from a counter-attack. A quickly taken free-kick released Sameehg Doutie and he did well to pick out Pearson for an easy finish.

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