A last moment unavailability of the Kanteerava Stadium made ISL to switch the match between Bengaluru and ATK from Bengaluru to Kolkata. Bengaluru travelled to Kolkata knowing well that ATK had been undefeated in their last three games and were prepared well for Bengaluru as they had hoped for a hostile away fixture. The game had it’s own revelations in terms of Bengaluru’s relief in routine and ATK’s joy of unearthing fresh talent and their continued woes with injury.
Here are the top five talking points of the game.
● Obsession with possession :
Bengaluru continued their possession based game. The begining of first half looked as though they were more interested in passing the ball than thinking of scoring or moving forward. The fact that the first corner for Bengaluru only came at the 93rd minute speaks how less the ball travelled into the ATK endzone.
Experienced campaigner like Coppell knew how to get in the huddle and waited for his chances which is what created the beautiful chance for Komal Thatal.
● Komal Thatal- finally rises to the occasion:
The eighteen year old was handed a start by the coach against a tough adversary and the guppy didn’t disappoint. Taking advantage of Juanan’s stray away from the defence line opened up a place in the centre for young Komal to make the run and get on top of a beautiful through from Santos. Komal went on to create a few more chances in the game but the youngster was eventually subbed off in the second half. But not before he had earned a standing ovation. The first goal for Thatal in ISL can well be the start of some big things for him only if he’s given chance on a regular basis.
● Erik Paartalu the difference maker :
Erik was adjudicated as the hero of the match. He not only scored the winner for BFC in the opening minutes of the second half but also held the game and set pace as the second half matured. When things started heating up by the 80th minute as ATK sent cross after cross from both sides, Erik threw everything of him in front of the ball. He had nearly a hundred passes, over 100 touches, interceptions, blocks and ofcourse the winner.
● The South American rivalry :
This wasn’t expected, but Miku and Gerson were at each other the whole game. At a point the commentary team suspected Gerson may follow Miku home after the game. In the first half Miku got on top of Gerson a few times and kneed him on the head on two occasions. Ofcourse no harm done. Gerson wouldn’t take anything lying on the back being the big defender he is, he took down Miku quite a few times. The set pieces that brought both of BFCs goals were results of the contest between Miku and Gerson. One should keep an eye open for this contest when ATK visit Bengaluru.
● Miku – scoring when it mattered :
The talking should stop at this. Miku’s free-kick from just outside the box in the 3rd added minute of the first half is probably one of the best and definitely one of the hardest shots ever seen on ISL. Awarding of the free-kick itself might be questioned, but the way Miku looked at the spot said it all. It was his shot and it would poke a hole in the net. Miku moved to ball a yard to the right towards Dimas who steadied the ball for Miku to blast it with his big right foot. All that was heard was the sound of the ball rolling in the net trying to shred the netting. This could be one of the best free-kicks if not the best in the ISL. If Bengaluru has to go one step better this time, the Venezuelan needs to fire regularly.