Javi Lara is certainly making a habit of scoring deflected goals; maybe he has been taking lessons from Frank Lampard. Lara's strike eight minutes from time helped Atletico de Kolkata hold 10-man Mumbai City FC to a 1-1 draw in the Indian Super League on Tuesday.
After Matias Defederico gave Mumbai City, who were without their marquee player Diego Forlan due to injury, a 1-0 lead in the 27th minute, the home team shot themselves in the foot by going down to ten men. Already with a yellow card, Pronay Halder was given another one for a rash challenge on Borja.
With 18 minutes plus stoppage time still to play at that point, Mumbai City had a difficult job at hand to stop ATK from at least equalising. They did their best, but in the end, Lara found a way, with his strike from 24 yards taking a big deflection off Jackichand Singh to hit the top corner. This was Lara's second such strike in two matches, after his deflected effort against the Kerala Blasters earned ATK a 1-0 win.
"We did not have a very good first half," ATK manager Jose Molina said. "Our performance in the first 45 minutes wasn't really good. They scored one goal and had two-three more clear chances to score. We spoke at halftime that we have to improve because the game is not over since it is 1-0, that we have to fight back in the second half.
"So, in the second half it was a very good performance, we were the better team on the pitch. I think we deserved the one point. So one half to each team with the final result a draw. I think is a fair result."
The 1-1 result saw Mumbai City's perfect start to the ISL 2016 season come to an end, but Alexandre Guimaraes, the manager, was pretty happy to have picked up seven points from the team's first three matches.
"We played again a good game, we had our chances in the first half and then the second half changed completely after the red card, so we had to change our defensive game," Guimaraes said. "Then after this situation Atletico played well and got their reward, they made us move much more and at the end I think it is a fair result."