A resolute ATK defence managed to keep the dangerous Ferran Corominas at bay and hold FC Goa for a goalless draw in their Indian Super League football fixture in Kolkata on Wednesday.
FC Goa started off on the front foot but as the game settled, the hosts started making plays of their own but neither side managed to get the winner in an intriguing contest. This was ATK’s second successive draw as they stay put on sixth position with 12 points from nine matches.
The Gaurs, on the other hand, climbed to second spot on the table with 17 points from nine matches. The Goans had definite chance to go one up in the 66th minute when substitute Manvir Singh slammed the ball from an angle that caught Andre Bikey’s arm inside the box but referee Rahul Kumar Gupta seemed blindsided.
John Johnson-led ATK defence did a fine job in not giving any space to the ISL’s leading goalscorer Coro. ATK midfielder Pronay Halder had a bloody nose after Lenny Rodrigues caught him on the bridge of the nose with his elbow.
But Halder was shown his fourth yellow card of the season that will suspend him for ATK’s next game. Billed as a revenge battle between ATK captain Manuel Lanzarote and his former coach at FC Goa, neither of them could exact revenge and prove a point.
ATK chose their moments to push forward. Hitesh Sharma’s cross into the centre of the box from the right flank was sent wide by Everton Santos in the 27th minute. Two minutes later, Jayesh Rane crossed low for the Santos whose shot took a deflection on its way into the gloves of Mohammed Nawaz.
The hosts grew in confidence and pushed further up the field as the first half progressed. In the 36th minute, Everton’s cross into the box was chested down into the path of Lanzarote by Gerson Vieira.
The attacking midfielder’s curling effort, however, beat both the goalkeeper and the post. Goa also had their moments early on when Brandon Fernandes surged forward into space through the centre in the seventh minute to create the first opening of the game.
He found Jackichand Singh to his right who in turn released Seriton Fernandes into the box but the full-back’s powerful shot could only find the side-netting. ATK next travel to Chennai for their match on December 2, while FC Goa face FC Pune City in their second successive away match, on December 11.