Kolkata, Oct 13: Defending champions Atletico de Kolkata (ATK) blasted their way to the top of the league as they downed last year’s filists Kerala Blasters FC 2-1 in an Indian Super League (ISL) encounter at the Salt Lake stadium here on Wednesday.
Arata Izumi scored the first for the hosts while in the second half it was a strike for Spanish midfielder Javi Lara who doubled the lead for ATK. Englishman Chris Dagll pulled one back for the visitors 10 minutes from the end of regulation time.
With the win ATK now have seven points from three outings, while the Blasters are on four points from three matches.
After the breather, the around 62,000 crowd at the Salt Lake stadium came to its feet as Javi Lara cut open the Blasters defence with his quick feet and netted the second for his team. The shot could have landed in Bywater’s hands but it took a deflection on-way to beat the Kerala keeper all ends up.
Jolted for the second time in the game, the Blasters tried making a comeback but somehow the midfield failed to switch the passes forward to the strikers and a lot of attacks broke midway.
Habas’ tactics paid off and defensively Kolkata looked a well-knit unit. But at the 80th minute mark the visitors found their first of the night. Peter Ramage’s cross was flicked on by Shankar and Englishman Chris Dangall was there to slot it in.
Kerala attacked with all its might in the last few minutes of the game, but the defence stood strong along with custodian Juan Calatayud who made some brilliant saves. IANS