ATK hold NorthEast to a goalless draw in East Indian derby

The East Indian derby between NorthEast United FC and ATK at the Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium in Guwahati ended in a goalless draw on Saturday. Chances were few and far between in the match, as both sides settled for a point each.

The result lifted the Highlanders to the second spot in the Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL) table with 20 points from 11 matches. They are level on points with Mumbai City FC but have a better goal difference. The Islanders, however, have a match in hand. ATK stayed in the sixth position with 16 points from 11 outings.

  • NorthEast dominated possession but most of the big chances fell ATK’s way.
  • Both teams extended their unbeaten run to five matches.
  • This was the Highlanders’ third draw on a trot.

Both sides tried to stretch their opponents early in the match. The wingers saw a lot of the ball in the opening 15 minutes, but none of the attacks really translated to an open chance. As the match progressed, the home team started to assert their dominance and managed to pin ATK back in their own half. Redeem Tlang registered the first shot on target on the 21st minute, but his long-range effort was too weak to beat ATK goalkeeper Arindam Bhattacharja.

The visitors, who were struggling to get out of their own half, managed to create a dangerous opportunity on the 30th minute after Balwant Singh beat NorthEast's offside trap to latch onto a lobbed through by Everton Santos. The ATK striker tried to chip one over Pawan Kumar, but the NorthEast custodian was in a good position to collect the ball.

Just before the half-time whistle, Manuel Lanzarote’s delivery from a free-kick created havoc inside the NorthEast box and needed a crucial intervention from Keegan Pereira.

It was a half of a few chances, as the two teams went into the break with the score 0-0.

The second-half began with a chance for ATK soon after the restart. Lanzarote intercepted a wayward pass by NorthEast substitute Gurwinder Singh near the edge of the 18-yard box and took his shot on. The attempt, however, was in a comfortable height for Pawan.

Everton Santos found himself on the end of another chance on the 80th minute. The ATK man did well to bring the ball down inside the opposition box from a free-kick and got his shot away. Gurwinder managed to block the initial shot but failed to clear the ball properly. A round of pinball ensued inside the Highlanders' box but luck favoured the hosts in the end.

ATK had the better of the chances in the second-half, especially from set pieces. They saw a big hand-ball appeal inside the NorthEast box turned down in the dying minutes of regulation time.

NorthEast, too, had a penalty appeal of their own deep into stoppage time, but the referee wasn’t interested.

The match ended with the honours even.

HERO OF THE MATCH – Jose Leudo

NorthEast’s midfield enforcer Jose Leudo put in a brilliant shift in the middle of the park and hardly put a foot wrong. The Colombian completed more than 90% of his passes over the ninety minutes and was the perfect buffer between the attack and defence.

CLUB AWARDS

Club Award – NorthEast United FC and ATK

Swift Limitless Player of the Match – Manuel Lanzarote

DHL Winning Pass of the Match – El Maimouni Noussair

ISL Emerging Player of the Match – Redeem Tlang

Hero of the Match – Jose Leudo

WHAT’S NEXT?

ATK will be on the road to play against Bengaluru FC on December 13, while NorthEast will be away to FC Goa on December 14.

Watch the match highlights here:

Visit our videos and photos section for exclusive videos and images from the match. 

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