Tag Archives: Atletico de Kolkata

India’s ISL became world football’s fourth biggest league


ISL became world football’s fourth biggest league

ISL attendances behind only England, Germany and Spain.

Atletico de Kolkata

A goal by Mohammed Rafique in the dying seconds of the final won the Indian Super League title for Atlético de Kolkata in what is now the fourth highest attended league in the world.

The opening game drew 65,000 supporters to Atlético de Kolkata’s ground, the Salt Lake Stadium, for the match against Mumbai City. That game was also watched on TV by 74.7m, and the league as a whole had ratings of 170.6m in the first week. The figures for the first phase of this year’s Indian Premier League cricket was 184m.


Atletico de Kolkata prevail over FC Goa; advance to final

Atletico de Kolkata got their act right in the nick of time to humble crowd favourites FC Goa 4-2 in tie-breaker and advance to the final of the inaugural Indian Super League (ISL) football.

Atletico de Kolkata will lock horns with Kerala Blasters FC in the summit showdown at the D Y Patil Stadium in Mumbai on Saturday.

The second leg semifinal between the two fierce rivals went into extra time after they were locked goal-less in the regulation time. With both teams failing to break the deadlock even in the 30 minutes of extra time, the game was decided via penalty shootout in which the visitors emerged winners.

The first leg semifinal between the two sides in Kolkata had ended in a goal-less stalemate.

Things panned out pretty much in the same manner before the Sourav Ganguly co-owned side edged past the hosts on penalties after playing out yet another drab draw in the 120 minutes of play.

While they failed to score in regulation and extra time, Atletico de Kolkata’s Josemi, Mohammed Rafi, Jofre Mateu and Borja Fernandez were bang on target when it mattered most at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium.

For the Goa outfit, Andre Santos’s spot-kick sailed over the bar while Haroon Amiri’s effort struck the upright. Tolgay Ozbey and Clifford Miranda successfully converted but that was not enough.

Bruno Pinheiro returned from suspension for the home side while coach Zico also included Peter Carvalho in his starting XI. The duo replaced the injured Narayan Das and Youness Bengelloun.

Atletico de Kolkata coach Antonio Lopez Habas made two changes, bringing in Arnab Mondal and Baljit Sahni, who was coming off a one-game suspension. The visitors, though, were without Fikru Teferra.

The visitors had the first chance of the game when Jakub Podany was brought down by Gregory Arnolin, but the resultant free-kick by Josemi was off target.

The home side had its share of chances too when Debabrata Roy laid one for Andre Santos at the far post in the seventh minute. The Brazilian pulled the ball back which was deflected by Ofentse Nato for Romeo Fernandes, but the Indian winger’s effort found the side-netting.


Atletico de Kolkata squander home advantage to draw goalless with FC Goa

Atletico de Kolkata spurned the golden opportunity of making best use of home advantage as they were held to a goalless draw by FC Goa in the first-leg semifinal of the Hero Indian Super League on Sunday.

ATK might have been down with injuries to three key players in Arnab Mondal, Biswajit Saha and Fikru Teferra but the home team had the best chance on the day Goa too played with a fragile defence.

There was no Bruno Pinheiro (suspended) and even left back Narayan Das had to be replaced early on after an injury but ATK failed to breach the fragile Goan defence with an uninspiring display barring the brilliance of their Spanish captain Luis Garcia.

ATK was not short on support as over 50,000 boisterous fans kept cheering for the ‘Red and Whites’ but Garcia was severely let down by his lieutenants and the fans just had to return home disappointed in the last home match for Kolkata this season.

With no Fikru, who so far played the only forward’s role in Antonio Habas 4-3-2-1 formation, their was no sting in their attack that was led by Keralite striker Mohammad Rafi.

Rakesh Masih, who played alongside Borja Fernandes in the central midfield performed below-par and was a complete mismatch to Garcia’s effective ball control and measured passing.

From the Goa team’s perspective, the away draw would certain be a morale booster as they just need to win by a solitary goal margin in their return semi-final leg at home December 17 to book a ticket to Mumbai for the summit clash December 20.

The Kolkata outfit failed to win from six matches with their last win coming against North East United FC, way back on November 18 and since then they have suffered two losses.

Brazilian legend Zico’s team on the otherhand are in the middle of a nine-match unbeaten run that included five wins as they will start clear favourites at in the semi last leg at home.

Goa suffered a setback early on after their impressive left-back Das sustained a right knee injury after a bad fall.

Garcia was behind the Goan defender but there wasn’t any touch as Das twisted his leg and was later replaced by Peter Carvalho to give their defence a big blow.

But it was of little consequence in ATK’s perspective as Rakesh Masih and Co severely let down Garcia’s fine moves.

The former Champions League winner for Liverpool was impressive right from the word go as he not only initiated their raids but controlled the ball in the midfield and for a moment it seemed that FCG are playing against one man in Garcia.

While ATK had the more share of the attack in the first half there was no open opportunity but FCG played as a unit and were bolstered by the return of the trio of Andre Santos, Miroslav Slepicka and Romeo Fernandes.

The visitors had the only real chance in the first period when an unmarked Romeo could only find the side net after getting the possession from Mandar Tamhane in the 18th minute.

Earlier Atletico de Kolkata made four changes to their starting line-up, Arnab Mondal, Biswajit Saha, Baljit Sahni and Fikru are replaced by Luis Garcia, Sanju Pradhan, Lester Fernandez and Rakesh Masih.

Garcia’s header helps Atletico de Kolkata beat NorthEast United FC

Luis Garcia fired in a stunning header in the second half to help Atletico de Kolkata end their four-match winless run by registering a 1-0 win over NorthEast United FC in their return leg ISL fixture at the Vivekananda Yuva Bharati Krirangan on Tuesday.

Garcia struck in the 51st minute, beating the towering Spanish World Cup winner Joan Capdevilla in the middle and the win helped ATK go three points clear of Chennaiyin FC in the lead position.

It was Borja Fernandez who brilliantly intercepted the ball and passed it on to Jofre Mateu whose measured cross from the left set up Garcia for the match winner.

Atletico now have 16 points from nine matches. They have four away and one home game left.

The scoreline could easily have been 2-0 but sub Arnal Llibert squandered an easy opportunity after being set up by Sanju Pradhan in front of an open net.

If NEUFC were brilliant with their defence, they were equally pathetic with their attack with the Indian duo of Durga Boro and Alen Deory wasting chances which derailed their recovery plans.

NEUFC had the best chance in the 83rd minute when Alen put in a great ball inside the six-yard box but an unmarked Seimeinlen Doungel wasted the free header only to put the ball over the bar.

Earlier, NEUFC made two changes to their starting line-up bringing in Massamba Lo Sambou in the central midfield and Durga Boro up front in place of Len Doungel and James Keene.

ATK, on the other hand, replaced Biswajit Saha with N Mohanraj in the backline in the only change to their line-up.

The first-half was full of intensity as both NEUFC and ATK went hammer and tongs to go one up.

ATK were sharp with their attack but it was the visitors’ Spanish World Cup winner Capdevilla who stood in their way.

NEUFC, on the other hand, had better ball possession and got as many as five corners in the first-half but with an innocuous attack in the Indian duo of Alen Deory and Durga Boro, the Guwahati franchise cut a sorry figure.

Garcia had an inspiring surge in the sixth minute but he was a tad faster than his striking partner as ATK took some time to settle down.

ATK’s first real opening came in the 11th minute when NEUFC goalkeeper TP Rehenesh brought down Fikru on the edge of the box in the right flank but the defence proved too strong once again.

The home side once again had a taste of NEUFC’s strong defence when Garcia’s powerful right footer from the edge of the box was blocked brilliantly by Capdevila in a 29th minute.

Atletico, Chennaiyin play out a 1-1 draw in ISL

A stoppage time penalty strike from midfielder Elano Blumer helped hosts Chennaiyin FC hold Atletico de Kolkata to a 1-1 draw in a top-of-the-table Indian Super League (ISL) clash at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium here Tuesday.

With the draw, both teams have maintained their positions at the standings, Atletico de Kolkata on top with 12 points from six matches and Chennaiyin FC second with 10 points after five matches.

It was a drama-filled match that witnessed two red cards and two penalties.

In the end, the home team would be more content to walk away with a point after being a goal and a man down from the early stage of the game and stealing an equaliser in stoppage time.

Chennai goalkeeper Shilton Paul was shown the red card on 33 minutes when he brought down opposing striker Mohammad Rafi inside the box, also conceding a penalty.

Chennai had to sacrifice striker Jean-Eudes Maurice to bring in their second-choice keeper Gennaro Bracigliano but he couldn’t stop the penalty as Atletico’s Spanish midfielder calmly converted from the spot to give the away team the lead.

Atletico maintained the lead at halftime. But the match underwent a dramatic shift right after the resumption of play when Atletico’s Jofre was sent off after receiving his second caution of the match for diving.

Both teams were down to 10 men and with the numerical superiority of Atletico nullified, Chennaiyin stepped on the pressure, hoping to equalise.

Both teams had their fair share of chances to score but couldn’t convert them.

Just when it appeared that Atletico will hold on the 1-0 lead to clinch crucial three points that would have given them a comfortable five-point lead at the top of the points table, Chennayin got a penalty.

Defender Kingshuk Debnath, under pressure from Colombian forward John Steven Valencia brought him down in the box to give away a penalty in the 90th minute.

Brazilian Elano scored with a neatly-taken penalty to restore parity and gift his team a point that could prove to be very crucial in determining the final four teams that will qualify for the semi-finals.

Atletico de Kolkata stay ahead with second win

Ten-man Atletico de Kolkata registered their second consecutive win at the Indian Super League (ISL), beating hosts NorthEast United FC 2-0 at the Indira Gandhi Stadium in Guwahati on Thursday.
Ethiopian striker Fikru Lemessa and Czech Republic midfielder Jakub Podany scored for the visiting team, who consolidated their position at the top of the standings with six points from two matches. However, the game also witnessed the first red card of the ISL, with Spaniard Borja Fernandez — who had scored a stunning goal in the opening game for Kolkata — being shown his second yellow card in the 84th minute for a silly challenge on Leo Bertos.
Kolkata led 1-0 at halftime through a superbly-taken goal by Fikru in the 13th minute — his second goal in as many matches.
The ball was masterly chipped over the NorthEast defence by Kolkata’s ‘marquee’ player Luis Garcia and the chested it before volleying it into the net.
Spanish imports Jofre Mateu Gonzalez and Borja came close to scoring, bringing out some fantastic saves from the NorthEast goalkeeper Alexandros Tzorvas, who was kept busy throughout the first half.
Atletico could have extended their lead had the upright not come in the way. Jofre’s cleverly-taken corner was nodded towards the goal by Botswana midfielder Ofentse Natobut but the ball rebounded off the right post.
The second half was, however, more evenly contest with both teams trying to score and constructing attacks at frantic pace.
NorthEast came close to equalising with Joan Capdevilla tapping the ball in the goal in the 70th minute from close range but he was adjudged offside.
As the match wore on, NorthEast asserted their supremacy. Atletico were forced to back off and that pressure forced Borja, who was booked earlier, to commit a needless foul in the 84th minute.
NorthEast committed more men forward but were left vulnerable at the back and Atletico capitalised on the open spaces left behind by their opponents in the final minute of regulation time, executing a swift counter-attack that was converted smartly by an unmarked Jakub to confirm the verdict.

ISL-Atletico de Kolkata provided Indian Super League with a perfect start: a 3-0 drubbing of Mumbai City FC.

After a magical opening ceremony, hosts Atletico de Kolkata provided Indian Super League with a perfect start: a 3-0 drubbing of Mumbai City FC and a cause for celebration for a reduced but capacity Salt Lake Stadium on Sunday.

Ethiopian striker Fikru Tefera started the demolition job with a cool finish in the first half and former Real Madrid player Borja Fernandez enhanced the lead with a magical volley after the break. Late substitute Arnal Llibert completed the rout deep into injury time to add more sparks to an already illuminated stadium as Antonio Lopez Habas began with ‘fatafati’ football in true sense of the term. A Spaniard, Ethiopian and Czech scoring and fighting for the collective cause of a Kolkata side might have given the league opener a sense of novelty what it was looking for. But from the home team’s perspective, their performance came as a “pleasant surprise” for co-owner Sourav Ganguly.