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ATK lose temper, game

Kerala Blasters beat ATK 1-0 in ISL thanks to Halicharan Narzary’s goal in the 70th minute
Antonio Lopez Habas being restrained by a member of ATK support staff on Sunday.
Antonio Lopez Habas being restrained by a member of ATK support staff on Sunday.
Picture by Santosh Ghosh

Arindam Bandyopadhyay   |   Calcutta   |   Published 12.01.20, 10:17 PM

ATK’s ISL VI match against Kerala Blasters had more drama at the dug-outs than on the field, at the Salt Lake Stadium on Sunday.

Right from kick-off, ATK coach Antonio Lopez Habas and his Kerala Blasters counterpart Eelco Schattorie were having a go at each other.

And at the fag end of the match all hell broke loose. Habas was shown a red card for pushing and shoving Blasters’ assistant-coach Ishfaq Ahmed. And even after the final whistle, the support staff of the two teams kept arguing.

The players added fuel to the fire. ATK captain Roy Krishna had some words with the match officials while some of the teammates sarcastically clapped in front of referee Ajitkumar Meitei.

Talking about the match, Blasters beat ATK 1-0 thanks to Halicharan Narzary’s goal in the 70th minute.

But the talking point remained the fracas. Asked about the incident, ATK assistant coach Manuel Perez Cascallan said: “Their coach (Schattorie) started it by spitting in Antonio’s direction.

“Habas shouldn’t have reacted but you know how involved he gets in the game.”

On the other hand, Eelco said: “From the very first minute, they were abusing me in Spanish. That’s all I want to say.”

Both the teams started cautiously. ATK’s Krishna and Balwant Singh tried to put pressure on the Kerala Blasters defence which refused to wilt.

ATK badly missed the service of in-form striker David Williams, who was out with hamstring injury.

Bartholomew Ogbeche played a big role for Blasters. He came to his team’s rescue with two important blocks that denied Krishna in the 35th and 36th minutes.

In the 70th, Narzary scored his first goal of the season. ATK defender Victor Adeva headed a ball, which fell in front of Narzary. The 25-year-old took a shot from 25 yards and it hit the back of the net like a bullet.

ATK are now third on the table with 21 points from 12 matches. Kerala Blasters move to sixth with 14 points.

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