Coming on from the sidelines, Gustavo dos Santos scored an injury-time goal as a 10-man Delhi Dynamos downed defending champions Atletico de Kolkata 1-0 to register their fourth win of the tournament, at the Salt Lake Stadium here on Thursday.
The turnaround for the visitors happened in the inspiring presence of the World Cup-winning star Roberto Carlos, who made his second appearance in the tournament as a player, after the interval.
The Dynamos played with 10 men from the 81st minute when their midfielder Souvik Chakraborty was sent off following his second booking of the match. The win took Dynamos to the second position in the league with 12 points from six outings.
While Dynamos continued to flourish in a state of minimalism, winning all their matches by single-goal margins, ATK found themselves at the wrong end, suffering their third consecutive defeat in six appearances so far.
The match was staid for the greater part and came alive only in the final quarter where the hosts tried to be more offensive.
ATK fielded South African Sameehg Doutie in place of Spaniard Javi Lara, who joined the growing list of injuries in the home camp. Lara’s absence meant more pressure on ATK’s lone striker Iain Hume, who ran into a mob of rival defenders on the few occasions he was set up inside the Dynamos box.
Hume came close to scoring in the 15th minute when Doutie found him with a neat cross from the left. The Canadian striker could only manage a feeble header, which the Dynamos goalkeeper Antonio Santana collected easily.
Dynamos, who played an overtly defensive game, had their chance when Richard Gadze charged ahead following a quick counter-attack in the 24th minute. The Ghanaian striker, however, came up with a wild effort and the ball sailed over from close range.
The hosts had another chance in the 66th minute when Doutie played a one-two with Jamie Gavilan on top of the box before the former fired a grounder. The ball deflected off the feet of Carlos and ran towards the goal before Santana made a desperate dive to retrieve the ball inches from the goal-line.
The visitors' masterstroke came in the third minute of injury-time when the hosts appeared to be resting on the oars after trying a few abortive attacks.The Dynamos launched a snap counter-attack as Frenchman Florent Malouda ran up the right flank and fired in a centre for unmarked Gustavo dos Santos, running in from the other end. The 60th minute substitute did not make any mistake while placing the ball past the hapless Amrinder Singh in the ATK goal.