Match Report: ATK 0-1 NorthEast United FC
It was a heartbreaking defeat for Steve Coppell’s men as they fought hard even after being reduced to 10 men in the 31st minute but could not stop NorthEast United FC from eking out a victory.
Rolwllin’s Borges’ 89th-minute header saw the Highlanders seal full points in their second match of the season against ATK at the Salt Lake Stadium, Kolkata. With the defeat, the home team slumped to the bottom of the table, having lost back-to-back matches while NorthEast climbed to the top.
Coppell made no changes to the starting line-up that lost to Kerala Blasters the other day while visiting coach Eelco Schattorie made one change in his starting lineup.
The game started on a slow pace as both teams took time to settle in and in the 30 minutes, no genuine goal scoring chances were created by either side. However, just as the match crossed the half-hour mark, Sena Ralte was sent off after being shown a second yellow card for a late challenge on Nikhil Kadam.
Following Sena's dismissal, NorthEast created a couple of opportunities, with Ogbeche and Federico Gallego causing trouble, but ATK were able to hold on until halftime. After play resumed, the away side continued dominating proceedings as Coppell’s men opted to protect their goal net.
John Johnson was crucial for the Kolkata-based side as he prevented NorthEast from scoring time and again. ATK did come close to breaking the deadlock but Manuel Lanzarote's effort was well saved by Rehenesh. Eventually, it was the Highlanders' persistence that paid off as Rowllin got on the end of a Gallego corner and killed all hopes.
ATK: Arindam Bhattacharja, Aiborlang Khongjee, John Johnson, Gerson Viera, Sena Ralte, Noussair El Maimouni (Kalu Uche 75'), Pronay Halder, Manuel Lanzarote (Kalu Uche 77'), Balwant Singh (Hitesh Sharma 90+1'), Jayesh Rane (Ricky Lallawmawma37'), Everton Santos
Subs not used: Debjit Majumder, Ankit Mukherjee, Cavin Lobo, Eugeneson Lyngdoh
Kerala Blasters: TP Rehenesh, Reagan Singh, Mato Grgic, Mislav Komorski, (Robert Lalthlamuana Provat Lakra 67'), Jose Leudo (Augustine Okrah 62'), Rowllin Borges, Redeem Tlang, Nikhil Kadam (Lalthathanga Khawlhring 81'), Federico Gallego, Bartholomew Ogbeche
Subs not used: Pawan Kumar, Gurwinder Singh, Rupert Nongrum, Juan Masica
ATK will take on Delhi Dynamos in their first away match of the ISL 2018/19 on 17th October, 2018.