A depleted Atletico de Kolkata, without star forward Fikru Teferra, put up a spirited show but could not score that elusive winner settling for a 11 draw against a lucky Kerala Blasters FC in their fifth ISL encounter at the Salt Lake Stadium, in Kolkata today.
Atletico maintained their top position in the league table with 11 points from five games while Blasters earned their first point in third game. Baljit Sahni gave the lead in the 22nd minute with a powerful angular rightfooter beating David James’ outstretched hands.
Minutes later, Atletico could have easily doubled the lead when Jofre gathered a good long ball on the left flank and crossed it to their sole striker Arnal Llibert near the sixyard box but it was blocked by the KBFC defender Cedric Hengbart much to the home team’s dismay. Just when Atletico looked to press further KBFC struck the equaliser from nowhere with former Championship goal poacher Iain Hume again being the scorer, when he converted the opportunity with a smart finish beating a surging Subhasish Roy Chowdhury in the 41st minute of the match.
Luck too deserted Atletico as they failed to bring up the winner despite a superb effort by Baljit who clearly had a field day in absence of their star players. It was the horizontal that came to Blasters’ rescue after a stunning shot by Baljit in the sixyard box went past an aerial James only to hit the woodwork. There were some last minute drama with Atletico pressing for the winner but the 6 feet 5 inches tall James ensured that Blasters returned with a point.
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