Two back-to-back defeats with no goals scored – that is just not exactly the script Atletico de Kolkata would have written. But NorthEast United FC showed resilience and kept their confidence to halt the Indian Super League champions from registering a favourable result on Friday.
The home side – riding on a solitary goal from Argentine striker Nico Velez in the 77th minute –won the game against the ISL champions at the Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium in Guwahati.
Catch it HERE.
It was their second win on the trot this season. In contrast, ATK suffered their second loss on the trot as well this season. But losing points need not bother the franchisee as of now because they still know they have a chance to finish in the top four following the end of the regular league season.
"No, we're not in a spot of bother. But could've won 0-2, 0-3 or 0-4 easily. But we lost and it's football. One day you win, one day you lose. That's football," Atletico de Kolkata sports director Alberto Marrero said.
"It was not just that one chance, we missed a lot of chances [in the game]. But the match is over now and there no use lamenting those chances," he added.
For Cesar Farias, head coach, NorthEast United FC, it has all been a brilliant execution of the strategy that led them to a fantastic win and helped them earn another clean sheet as well.
"In football, strategy is very important, just like chess. A player moves his pieces on the chess board according to his strategy. We have our own strategy for the games and use the players as the need arises. We played with precision and accuracy but the champions also had a very good game," Farias told reporters after the match.
"On the field we've found our route and we hope to maintain it. We have to continue our good work. Even though we lost the first three games, we did some good things there too and we need to continue them. It's good to overcome our difficulties but we also have to analyse the mistakes we made in the two games that we won," the optimistic Venezuelan added.
Catch the full highlights of the game HERE.
NorthEast United FC now take on Mumbai City FC in their sixth game of the ISL on 28 October, while Atletico de Kolkata take on Delhi Dynamos in their sixth game of the season on 29 October.