Dynamos, ATK in second stalemate

Delhi stay put at fifth; Kolkata second

Dynamos, ATK in second stalemate

Delhi Dynamos played their hearts out but couldn’t go beyond holding Atletico De Kolkata (ATK) to a 0-0 draw in their last home fixture at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium on Tuesday.

The previous meeting of the two sides, too, had ended in a stalemate, albeit with a 1-1 score. The draw ensured that both the sides retain their positions on the table — ATK on second spot and Dynamos fifth.

It was a measured start by the two sides. The Dynamos were soon to come on their own, attacking with fervour. Gustavo dos Santos on the right was always a lingering threat to the ATK, whose tight midfield made the movement difficult for the hosts. In a rather dull first half, both the sides created opportunities but couldn’t make them count. Dynamos got a good opportunity when Francisco Fernandes broke from the left to send a good ball to Mads Junker, who was inside the box.  Junker, however, passed it to Souvik Chakraborty whose shot was well blocked by ATK goalkeeper Apoula Edel. 

The Kolkata side was quick to reply with a counter-attack led by Jakub Podany from the left wing. However, Podany’s cross to Baljit Sahni went abegging.Watched on the sidelines by co-owner and former Indian cricket captain Sourav Ganguly, ATK began to assert themselves towards the end of first half.

By notching up two back to back corners, they put the hosts under pressure. ATK’s star striker Fikru Lemessa crafted another opportunity with a low cross from the right to Borja Fernandez but the latter shot it wide to ensure the deadlock stayed at the half-time mark.

With both sides eager to score, the second essay opened to some entertaining action.  If Podany caused headaches for Dynamos with his speedy runs, the hosts had Dos Santos, who came close with his left-footer from outside the box. It was well saved by a diving Edel.
Fernandes, the playmaker, continued to impress for Dynamos. He alongwith Dos Santos was instrumental in making solid inroads into the ATK box. By the middle of the second half, Dynamos were breathing fire with their flurry of attacks but couldn’t finish.

With final whistle ticking nearer, Kolkata stepped up the ante and even had the hosts in a spot of bother when substitute Joffre Gonzalez dived to make a low header. Kristof Van Hout, though, was alert to palm it away.  All through the second half, it was Dynamos who dominated the proceedings. Pity, their last match at home ended the way they had started here — with a draw.

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