The Indian Super League (ISL 2016) witnessed two former champions, Chennaiyin FC and Atletico de Kolkata, slog it out in a crucial fixture on Sunday. Both the teams were desperate for three points. The match ended up being quite close as both teams picked up a point following 1-1 draw at Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium.
Helder Postiga scored for Kolkata while Davide Succi's goal in the 77th minute cancelled ATK's lead. The home team did not look good in the first 45 minutes as Kolkata took advantage of the situation with some quality football.
ATK should have scored more than a solitary goal in the first 45 minute, as they looked a solid side, creating major chances to break the deadlock. However, they did so in the 39th minute of the match as Postiga found the back of the net. It was a brilliant goal from the experienced player, who headed the ball into the top corner.
From there on, Atletico maintained the pressure, looking to double their lead before the break. But, the second half seemed to be a different affair, with Chennaiyin, buoyed by the supporters, played an attacking game.
Succi was a constant threat throughout the second half, and equalised with a cool finish with his head to make matter interesting. They mounted pressure on the final 10 minutes in search of the winning goal, but ATK defence held firm to see off the game 1-1.
Chennaiyin's Daniel Lalhlimpuia, who was making his maiden ISL appearance, believes they should have secured three points after their attacking play in the second 45 minutes, but hopes to secure full points in their next encounter.
"I think tonight in the second half we did really well in attack and I think we should have won the game but it's 1-1, so it's fair enough, and as a team I think we have done really well. I think it is amazing and all the fans are supporting us very well and hopefully in the next game we will give them three points," ISL's official website quoted Lalhlimpuia as saying.
Channaiyin FC, after this result, lie on sixth place with 14 points, while Kolkata are in third position (15 points). Besides Kolkata, both Pune and Kerala have 15 points, but with ATK having a better goal difference, they stand above them on the table.
With three matches to go for all these teams, the competition is heating up, with only top four teams set to go through to the knockout stages.