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Delhi Dynamos beat ATK 4-3 in Indian Super League thriller

Kalu Uche scored twice as Delhi Dynamos edged out ATK 4-3 in a thrilling Indian Super League clash at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in New Delhi on Saturday

football Updated: Feb 25, 2018 01:37 IST
Sayan Ghosh
Sayan Ghosh
New Delhi
Delhi Dynamos,ATK,Indian Super League
Kalu Uche’s brace helped Delhi Dynamos beat ATK 4-3 in the Indian Super League on Saturday.(ISL )

It was a show of utmost resilience by Delhi Dynamos as they came back from two goals down to beat ATK 4-3 in their Indian Super League (ISL) match at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in New Delhi on Saturday. Big name signings - Robbie Keane (ATK) and Kalu Uche (Dynamos) - both scored twice for their respective teams, but a late goal by Matias Mirabaje proved to be the deciding factor.

Both ATK and Delhi Dynamos went into the match with similar strategies as they looked to outclass each other in the midfield. While Delhi Dynamos opted for a 4-1-3-2 system with Kalu Uche partnering with Lallianzuala Chhangte at the top of the pitch, ATK decided to stick to their 4-1-4-1 formation with Robbie Keane playing as the sole striker. As a result of the congested midfield, majority of the attacks in the first half came from the wings and the match soon turned into a showdown between Dynamos winger Seityasen Singh and ATK new recruit Sibongakonke Mbatha.

Seityasen drew first blood as his measured cross found Chhangte inside the box who laid it out for Uche to score his eighth goal of the season. Dynamos were the superior side with respect to ball possession and it seemed like the perfect occasion for the hosts to regain their confidence. But, the happiness did not last long as Mbatha made a brilliant run down the left side and his shot took a major deflection off Dynamos defender Gabriel Cichero to level the score just before half-time.

The biggest problem for ATK in this season’s Indian Super League (ISL) has been their inability to score goals. The strikers have struggled to find the back of the net in crucial games and before Saturday’s game, they were able to score just 11 goals in 15 matches - the lowest by any team in the competition. However, that was not the case on Saturday as they had an almost perfect start to the second half.

Robbie Keane produced an individual moment of brilliance as he curled a beautiful free-kick effort over the wall and into the net to hand ATK the lead. The joy was multiplied just a few minutes later as Mbatha turned provider as Keane took advantage of the keeper’s mistake to make it 3-1.

However, Delhi Dynamos were in no mood to drop their weapons and their consistent attacking bore fruit in the 69th minute. Seityasen Singh provided a perfect assist for skipper Kalu Uche who tapped the ball into the net and then followed it up with a goal of his own to even things up in the 71st minute.

Delhi Dynamos coach Miguel Angel Portugal was extremely pleased with how his team performed on Saturday and when asked about the result, said, “This was a special win for us. The comeback showed the team’s character and I am sure that this performance will boost their confidence.”

First Published: Feb 24, 2018 23:43 IST