MARGAO: Despite dominating the major proceedings of play with an attacking style of football, FC Goa could not get past the valiant Atletico de Kolkata and settled for an exciting 1-1 draw to share spoils in their ISL match at Nehru Stadium, Fatorda on Wednesday.
It was the Kolkata side that stunned the hosts with a 13th minute goal and it took the hosts 69 minutes to find the equaliser which happened when the Kolkatans were reduced to 10 men in the 63rd minute of play, following striker Baljit Sahni’s ouster as he was handed his second yellow card of the match.
Much against the run of play, ATK created the only serious move which culminated into a goal to stun the strong Goa defence. The stunner came off when FC Goa missed three glorious chances just before conceding the goal.
Goa’s very own Denzil Franco — who now dons the colours for Kolkata — sent a smart cross from the right to midfielder Arata Izumi whose power-packed shot gave no chance at all to FC Goa’s Brazilian keeper Elinton Sanchotene Andrade.
The script of this goal was similar to that of Cavin Lobo’s who scored against the Gaurs last year wherein the Goa team went down 1-2 to the Kolkatans. The only difference this time was that it was an assist that another Goan in Denzil Franco laid to Arata.
But the equaliser in favour of the Gaurs was also as spectacular as the one that Arata scored which came through the boots of defender Keenan Almeida in the 82nd minute through his powerful half-volley that crashed to the far corner of the nets.
It was mesmerising Jofre Mateu Gonzalez who headed the ball towards the Atletico de Kolkata goal but somehow an opponent defender headed it for clearance and as the ball landed at Keenan’s feet he lost no time in unleashing a half volley that ATK keeper Amrinder Singh hardly had a look at.
With the draw, both the teams have four points. A win however could have given FC Goa a chance to avenge the defeat they suffered in the last season but that did not happen even though they dominated almost the entire proceedings of this match.
Zico’s boys played to a set pattern as they attacked relentlessly right from the beginning.
Most of the moves were initiated by exceptionally talented players like Spaniard Jofre Mateu Gonzalez, Keenan Almeida and Mandar Rao Dessai.
Defenders like Lucimar Da Silva, Frenchman Gregory Arnolin and midfielder Leonardo da Silva Moura from Brazil flourished in their position, allowing themselves a lot of freedom to roam about in their opponent’s half, ripping the defence with creative moves.