ATK 0-0 FC Goa
KICK-OFF: Nov 28, 7.30PM (IST) (GMT +5.30)
Channel: Star Sports HD1, Star Sports 1, Star Sports 3.
Streaming: Hotstar, Jio TV.
Highlights: Click Here
Venue: Salt Lake Stadium.
FC Goa have a chance to usurp Bengaluru FC from the top of the table when they take on ATK at the Salt Lake Stadium.
ATK have been resolute in defence and forced Mumbai City into a draw in their previous game. On the flip side, the team from Kolkata has also struggled to score goals having managed seven goals from eight appearances.
They have problems up front with them not being able to replace the injured Nigerian international Kalu Uche properly. Emiliano Alfaro signed on loan from Pune City got injured in training before he could make an appearance for them. With Balwant Singh in his twilight years, they should use set-pieces well if they want to force a result in this game.
ATK will pin their hopes on the former FC Goa player Manuel Lanzarote who was prolific for the Gaurs the season before with a return of 13 goals from 19 appearances. If Lanzarote creates or scores a goal for the Kolkata team, ATK can shut shop with their strong defensive setup comprising of players like John Johnson, Andre Bikey, Gerson Vieira and the Indian international Pronay Halder.
Goa do have a propensity to leak goals and ATK will have their chances if they show some desire in the final third. Also, the Australian forward Eli Babalj might make his debut today and it’s quite possible ATK will sit back in the second half and lump the ball forward to the 6’5″ forward.
Goalscoring has never been a problem for FC Goa. Just ask Coro! The forward has eight goals from seven appearances and tops the assists chart as well in the league. Goa average nearly three goals a game having scored 22 goals in eight appearances.
The Gaurs have a strong midfield in Ahmed Jahouh and Edu Bedia and have goalscorers all over the pitch. They will be looking to set things right after their jarring defeat to Bengaluru FC in their previous game.
Sergio Lobera, Head Coach, FC Goa sounded confident before the game:
“ATK are a quality side and I expect nothing but a tough match,” stated Sergio Lobera ahead of the game. “They have some really good players and the team is built in the identity of the manager, one I respect a lot.”
“We are here to get a win though, and I expect to overcome everything that they throw at us and go back with all three points.”
FULL-TIME: ATK 0-0 FC Goa
It was one of those games you could call an interesting draw if there ever was such a thing.
ATK had three great chances in the first half, but could not capitalise. Mohammed Nawaz kept FC Goa in the game and the goalkeeper did not put a foot wrong on the night. The 18-year-old was a little error-prone earlier in the season, but now seems to have put that behind him in what will surely be a long and promising career.
FC Goa tried and they tried hard dominating possession. They had as much as 75% possession and threw in the kitchen sink, but ATK were unrelenting. The man of the match Pronay Halder with a bandaged nose (he got smacked in the face early in the first half) blunted FC Goa’s attack by putting his body on the line and making those niggling, annoying fouls every chance he got.
Early in the first half, Senegalese defender Mourtada Fall had a great chance to put Goa ahead from four yards out and with no one marking him, but he inexplicably headed the ball wide. Goa also had a shoutout for a penalty for an Andre Bikey handball in the 18 yard box, but were denied by the referee.
Courtesy: Grey Area Analytics
A quick look at the Expected Goals (xG) graph for tonight’s game reveals the teams were almost on par with respect to expected goals. ATK had some great chances against a vulnerable Goan defence. Goa, on the other hand, dominated possession, were more persistent in attack and had more shots on goal as well as shots on target.
This pretty much resulted in the teams cancelling each other out – Goa couldn’t go past a resolute ATK defence, while ATK were denied by the FC Goa custodian Nawaz. In fact, ATK are the first team not to concede a goal against FC Goa this season.
With the draw, Goa move into second position on the table while ATK see no change in their league position and remain in sixth.