ISL: NorthEast United, Atletico de Kolkata clash for top spot
NorthEast were unlucky to lose against defending champions Chennaiyin FC in their last game and Atletico de Kolkata suffered their first loss of the season when they went down fighting to Mumbai City FC.football Updated: Oct 28, 2016 14:56 IST
NorthEast United FC and Atletico de Kolkata will be hungry to make amends and surge to the top of the Hero Indian Super League (ISL) table when they face each other in Guwahati on Friday.
NorthEast were unlucky to lose against defending champions Chennaiyin FC in their last game and Atletico de Kolkata suffered their first loss of the season when they went down fighting to Mumbai City FC, with Arsenal legend Thierry Henry in attendance in Mumbai.
The teams now meet in a seventh-round clash of the ISL at Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium, and both teams will have both their eyes transfixed on the top spot.
“Our team has potential and quality and we can work and develop on many things. Sometimes you need a little bit of luck. We were not lucky (against Chennaiyin FC) but in 14 games I believe we can be lucky and win in spite of not playing as good as we played against Chennaiyin FC,” said NorthEast United coach Nelo Vingada.
NorthEast started with a flourish in this edition of the ISL, winning both their matches at home but since then they have suffered a dip in form, picking up just four points from their last four matches.
The return to Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium should boost their confidence and although they did not pocket anything from the last game, The Professor, as Vingada is known, should be confident that they can return to the top of a table with a simple win, or even a draw.
NorthEast United are currently placed second with 10 points from six matches but a point or more will take them above Mumbai City FC, who are perched at the top with 11 points.
Atletico de Kolkata will also have their eyes on the top spot as the race to occupy the top four positions and win qualification to the semi-finals hots up.
Atletico de Kolkata have five points from their last four matches but it is the loss in the last clash against Mumbai City FC that will hurt them. It was their first loss in the competition and came despite the hosts having chances to turn the tables.
Kolkata also suffered the ignominy of seeing chief coach Jose Molina sent to the stands by the referee for repeatedly protesting his decisions. He will not be on the bench for Friday’s clash.
Atletico de Kolkata, who won the league in 2014, are placed third on the table with nine points from six matches.