The Hindu

Status quo after a dull draw

Delhi Dynamos stays third in the table while ATK remains fourth


NEW DELHI: The expected sparks did not fly. Delhi Dynamos and Atletico de Kolkata strove hard but the goodly audience was denied quality fare as the two were unable to conjure up even a semblance of magic that makes football a spectacle that it is.

That Dynamos showed the resolve to tame Kolkata on home turf was a big stride for the former. The 1-1 draw meant Dynamos stayed third in the table while Kolkata stayed put at fourth. Incidental­ly both goals were left-footed efforts; Iain Hume put Kolkata ahead only for substitute Richard Gadze to nullify it in the second half.

Dynamos lacked the fire upfront as Kolkata doused the home team’s forays with some calculated defending.

To deny the opponent scoring opportunit­ies has been Dynamos’ forte this season but the wall was breached on Saturday night by a stinging shot from Hume from inside the box.

The ball that was floated into the box by Rino Anto, more in hope than conviction, did not appear worthy of a goal. Dynamos goalkeeper Antonio Doblas, however, made an uncharacte­ristic mess of a block and the deflection was pounded in by Hume, who had been left unmarked.

Doblas had on other occasions made some fine saves.

There was little to separate the teams in the first half but the second was a different story.

The thrust by Dynamos as it explored the angles to equalise increased the pace of the match. Tempers too flared as Kolkata defended robustly against the marauding Flourent Malouda, who worked tirelessly, twice taking shots at the goal but lacking in direction.

With Robin Singh putting in a sustained effort once he got the company of Gadze there was relentless pressure on the Kolkata defence.

It was hardly surprising that it cracked an hour into the match when Malouda presented Gadze with an opportunit­y.

The latter slammed in the equaliser within five minutes of his appearance on the field.

The game opened up as the teams pressed hard.

In the closing stages, Gadze gave Kolkata some tough moments and it had a close shave when his powerfully driven shot hit the post.

But a draw was a fair result in the end.

The result:

Atletico de Kolkata 1 (Iain Hume 27) drew with Delhi Dynamos 1 (Richard Gadze 61).

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