A Sports-nova exclusive report as we try to find the insights of Ateltico de Kolkata’s second outing in Kolkata
It was a stumbled start for the Rojiblancos of Kolkata as they found no pace to withstand the attackers of Pinki Roy XI and finally succumbed to a 3-1 defeat in the friendly at Yuba Bharati Krirangan on Sunday.
The match entlted ‘Play for Cancer’, which was organised to enhance awareness about the deadly disease, was a practice match in disguise for Atletico De Kolkata.
Antonio Lopez Habas employed more like a traditional Diamond formation with Spanish Borja Fernandez at the pivotal defensive midfielder position and Jakub Podany at a more forward role.
After a fruitless half an hour of play, Atletico’s Ethiopian striker Fikru Teferra gave them the lead with a calm finish; dodging the goal-keeper and two defenders on his way. In the first half, both he sides looked impotent with only Cavin Lobo and Sanju Pradhan showing some skills on the ball for the Indian Super League side
In the second half, there was a surprise for 6000 spectators at the ground as former Indian Cricket team Capain and local hero Sourav Ganguly took the field for Pinki Roy XI wearing the number 10 jersey. He was soon subbed off due to a mild groin injury.
Just on the hour mark, Sarabuddin Mullick’s thumping strike defeated Subhashis at the goal and Pinki Roy XI got themselves back into the game. Koko and Adajlaja’s goals on the 68th and 79th minute respectively ensured a victory for Pinki Roy XI by a big margin.
Atletico players looked sluggish on the field and the French-Spanish duo at the back could not cope up with the counter-attacks of the opponents. This will be a major concern for Habas as his team will take on Mumbai City FC here in Kolkata in the first match of inaugural Indian Super League.
Atletico’s marquee signing Luis Garcia was absent due to his commitment to trophy unveiling ceremony in Mumbai.