In what proved to be an intense and entertaining clash, Delhi Dynamos FC and Atletico de Kolkata shared spoils as the game ended 2-2 at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium on Sunday.
In the midst of an electric and engaging crowd of 19,780, the game saw all sorts of action. While Ian Hume, Milan Singh, Javier Lara Grande and Florent Malouda got their names on the scoreboard, Badara Badji got himself sent off along with Marcelinho, Borja Fernandes and others finding their names in the bookings.
Delhi now lead the ISL table with 17 points while Kolkata are on the fourth spot with 14 points.
The first half belonged to Atletico de Kolkata as their attacking creativity and instinct absolutely dominated the flow of Delhi’s game. Since the first minute, Kolkata forced Delhi on the backfoot and kept launching scathing attacks.
Postiga, Hume and Doutie combined and created chances for Kolkata on the front while Delhi looked to mostly be putting the ball away.
In the 14th minute, Kolkata’s attack paved way for Delhi’s counter attack as Malouda let through a pass leaving Marcelinho with the keeper but a sloppy first touch by Marcelinho let him down.
Soon, in the 17th minute, Kolkata’s effort bore fruit as their star man Ian Hume found the back of the net. Doutie let off a clear pass towards Hume that Anas failed to block and Hume duly punished the open back of the Delhi Dynamos.
Tempers soared as Badji (Delhi Dynamos) and Lalrindika Ralte got their names in the bookings. Tackles and challenges flew around as both teams looked to consolidate themselves.
In the 27th minute, post a throw-in, Kean Lewis put in a delicious cross towards Marcelinho on the far post only for Majumder to reach exactly on time and collect the ball to safety.
Atletico de Kolkata looked menacing while Delhi were unable to contain their creative flow. In the 44th minute, as Delhi looked to push Kolkata on the back, Badji did a deliberate handball on the front and was shown a second yellow thus, getting sent off.
The second half began with the same intensity as it was evident by the tackles and subsequent bookings that flew around.
Despite being 10 men down, Delhi didn’t go all defensive and Marcelinho looked particularly threatening as he raced forward. In the 61st minute, Marcelinho was fouled inside the box and as the referee point at the centre, Malouda stood up to take the penalty. Looking under pressure from the word go, Malouda took the shot on the right and Majumder dived and blocked the ball.
Despite the penalty miss, Delhi continued to work up front in search of an equaliser. And in the 63rd minute, Milan Singh came up with a screamer. On the right flank from outside the box, he curled the ball into the top left corner.
The game intensified further as Kolkata surged ahead in pursuit of winning the game. In the 72nd minute, Subsitute Javier Lara Grande got Kolkata back up front as he shot home from the centre after he was left unmarked.
In the next minute itself, Delhi fought their away back into the game as Malouda netting in after struggling and battling with four Kolkata defenders. The last 15 minutes saw the teams looking for a winner without any results.
Delhi will next take on Pune City FC in an away game on November 18 while Atletico de Kolkata will host neighbours NorthEast United on November 17.