ISL: Spirited Pune hold Atletico de Kolkata to a 1-1 draw
Pune: Atletico de Kolkata's erratic run in their away matches continued as a spirited Pune City FC held them to a 1-1 draw in an 11th round encounter of the Indian Super League yesterday.
Jakub Podany's 11th strike for ATK was neutralised by Pune's Greek World Cupper Kostas Katsouranis during the dying moments of the first half as the Kolkata outfit remained firmly in contention for a berth in the semi-finals.
ATK remain in second place in the eight-team table with 17 points from 11 games while Pune are seventh in the table with 13 points despite being on even keel with Delhi Dynamos and NorthEast United, the reason being their inferior goal difference.
ATK, who were desperate for their fifth victory again fumbled in an away match. Their last victory in an away game came more than a month ago in Goa.
The visitors got the lead against the run of play in the 11th minute when India U-23 defender Pritam Kotal misjudged a long ball and ATK skipper Luis Garcia sent a measured cross for Podany, who timed his jump to perfection nodding the ball home.
It was a match where ATK coach Antonio Habas made as many as five changes and one of them Podany—a former Sparta Prague left-winger vindicated his coach's decision.
ATK's giant custodian Edel Bete had a good match as he pulled off couple lovely saves on either side of the break to avert danger.
Hungarian Krtian Vadocz took a crack at goal in the 30th minute but the 6feet 5 inches tall Bete was equal to the task.
Pune could have equalized in the 34th minute when Kostas failed to angle a low assist delivered by Jermaine Penant as it was foiled by Bete.
Pune finally got the equalizer in the first minute of stoppage time in the first half. It was corner which ATK defence couldn't clear properly and Pune skipper Cirillo sent it back in the melee.
With Dudu Omagbemi pressing hard, Spanish defender Josemi's head went as far as a lurking Kostas, whose powerful shot restored parity. This was Kostas' fourth goal in the cash-rich league.
The Greek mideo could have added a fifth goal to his tally had Bete not dived full stretch to fist a powerful punch which was directed towards the top corner of the net.