NorthEast United FC 0-2 Atletico de Kolkata: Spirited NorthEast go down fighting in close encounter




16th October, 2014: NorthEast United put forth their best efforts albeit Atletico de Kolkata ran out 0-2 winners in an Indian Super League (ISL) on Thursday evening at the Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium, Guwahati. However the North East United Side did win three awards; Alexandtros Tzorvas won the Swiftest Player of the Match, Durga Boro Won the award for Immerging Player of the match, and the Fittest players of the match was won by Do Dong Hyun.

NorthEast United FC 0-2 Atletico de Kolkata: Spirited NorthEast go down fighting in close encounter

NorthEast United FC 0-2 Atletico de Kolkata: Spirited NorthEast go down fighting in close encounter

Fikru Tefera opened the scoring in the 15th minute before Jakub Podany flattered the scoreline for the visitors by adding a second deep into stoppage time.

The home support made for a fantastic atmosphere within the stadium once again. However, Atletico de Kolkata were nearly in on goal in the 6th minute when Luis Garcia dinked a brilliant pass forward for Jofre Mateu to chase down but the latter had strayed offside.

Three minutes later, Borja tried to catch Alex Tzorvas off guard as he had a go from the halfway line but the former Greek international was wise to the effort, back tracked swiftly and caught it just ahead of the line.

In the following minute though, Joan Capdevila uncharacteristically mishit his clearance and Luis Garcia was eventually played clean through but his powerful first time effort brought out the best from Tzorvas who made an instinctive reflex save.

With 13 minutes on the clock, Monga went agonizingly close to scoring for the home team. A corner from the left was whipped in well and the center-back rose highest but his header flew just wide of the far post.

Two minutes later, the visitors opened the scoring. Fikru Tefera was threatening throughout and latched on to a delightful Garcia lobbed pass to chest it down and finish acrobatically on the volley. There was little the NorthEast defence could do about the move.

Nevertheless, NorthEast United responded well as they began to attack more aggressively after going behind. Capdevila had a shot on goal but the effort lacked power and was collected comfortably.

Tzorvas continued to impress as he made another great save in the 22nd minute when Fikru and Baljit Singh both went for a ball played into the box. Baljit was the one who pulled the trigger but Tzorvas stuck out a foot excellently to deny him.

Jofre Mateu swung in a dangerous corner three minutes later but Nato’s header struck the upright. Meanwhile, Koke started to grow into the game. He dropped into space well, drove forward with the ball and even played good passes but the forward runners couldn’t quite get on the end of them.

Tzorvas was on hand to make a routine save from Sahni’s shot from distance in the 34th minute. For the rest of the opening period, NorthEast had a lot of the ball and dominated proceedings but couldn’t find the final pass.

Three minutes before the break, Koke’s penetrative pass found Durga Boro in space but his shot was off target. Right on the stroke of half-time, Tzorvas made a smart save from Jofre to maintain the one-goal deficit.

NorthEast United predictably started the second period on the front foot. Two minutes in, Isaac Chansa and James Keene combined well but the striker was drawn wide and once again the final ball fell to a red and white shirt when Boro was lurking in space.

Chansa then broke down the right in the 52nd minute and did well to pull the ball back for Koke but the Spaniard blazed his effort over the top on the volley after making an excellent run.

Two minutes later, Borja tried to win a penalty as he went down after reaching to make contact with Capdevila’s foot. The referee wasn’t to be fooled though and promptly booked the midfielder for simulation.

Chansa was subbed off for Tomas Josl in the 61st minute and Koke made way for Dong-Hyun Do two minutes later.

The left-footed Korean made an instant impact as he danced past defenders, making his way into the penalty area before finding Boro. However, Borja was on hand to clear the danger.

With 20 minutes to go, Keene squandered NorthEast United’s best chance. A ball was well scooped over the top of the Atletico defence and Keene attempted to volley it home but he had to reach for it and failed to make contact. Capdevila thumped home the loose ball but was flagged offside.

The lively Do cut in smartly from the right and raced towards goal befoe pulling the trigger from outside the box in the 82nd minute. However, he couldn’t keep his shot on target.

Two minutes later, Borja’s earlier dive came back to haunt him as he picked up a second yellow for a foul on Bertos and was subsequently sent off.

With the home support rallying behind their team, the hosts piled on the pressure in the final few minutes. In the 90th minute, Do found Boro on the edge of the box. The midfielder did well to get his shot away under pressure but it flew wide of the near post.

Deep into stoppage time, second half substitute Pody scored against the run of play to make it 2-0 to the visitors. Denzil Franco sent a dangerous cross into the box which Haokip nearly got his head to. Instead, the ball fell for Pody whose finish into the far corner left Tzorvas with no chance.

Despite the defeat, NorthEast United will take plenty of positives from their performance, particularly their second half onslaught. Coach Ricki Herbert added, “Irrespective of the score one down or two down, losing a game still has the same amount of impact. We have a phenomenal side with immense talent and we are hopeful moving forward we will be able to go through with a cutting edge on the ball.” The young side dominated the ball as they registered 57% of possession but only lacked a cutting edge in the final third.

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