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20:59 (IST): The final whistle is blown and that is the end of the contest. A more challenging outing for Kolkata but they ultimately triumphed 2-0.
20:50 (IST): GOAL! Podany makes it 2-0 and that is the last nail in the coffin for NorthEast.
20:43 (IST): Borja gets his second yellow in the game and is sent off in the 84th minute. Kolkata still lead 1-0.
20:40 (IST): With less than 10 minutes to go both teams are attacking as the hosts look to draw level and the visitors hope to double their lead.
20:33 (IST): There is a double substitution on the field. Atletico de Kolkata - Jofre makes way for Podany. NorthEast United FC - Keene comes out, Bertos comes in.
20:29 (IST): The off-side whistle denies NorthEast the equaliser. Kolkata managing to send back wave after wave of attacks by NorthEast. Keene puts in a loopy ball that balloons towards Joan Capdevila in front of the goal. The forward tries to smash the ball but only manages to kick thin air. The ball goes towards Adinga who finds the net but is flagged off side. The captain should have surely done better there.
20:27 (IST): Kolkata are losing the ball way too easily in the middle. NorthEast United will not let the visitors get away with it everytime.
20:22 (IST): NorthEast being made to work hard as they struggle to keep pace with Kolkata. Kolkata still lead 1-0 in the 65th minute.
20:09 (IST): Keene receives the ball in the 47th minute on the left flank and plays a cheeky back heel for Chansa. He tries to put it for Keene but the ball is cleared for a side throw. Early encouragement for the home fans.
20:04 (IST): The second half begins and NorthEast in search of an equaliser.
19:57 (IST): Kolkata are yet to concede a goal after 135 minutes of play in the Indian Super League.
19:49 (IST): So that is the end of the first half. Kolkata have a 1-0 lead thanks to Fikru's goal.
19:42 (IST): NorthEast have done their best to draw level but have been thwarted by some staunch Kolkata defending.
19:34 (IST): NorthEast's 35th minute corner goes to waste as Kolkata win the ball back yet again.
19:27 (IST): A brilliant corner in the 25th minute by Jofre on the near post where Ofentse Nato comes running and glances the header. The ball goes swiftly but comes off the right post. Kondwani Mtonga clears the ball to evade danger.
19:17 (IST): GOAL! Fikru scores his second goal in the competition and Kolkata lead in the 15th minute against NorthEast.
19:13 (IST): It's cricket vs Bollywood today as Sourav Ganguly squares off against John Abraham.
19:08 (IST): There are a series of fouls committed by both the teams. There is a lot of physical contact and it could be a cracker of a game.
19:05 (IST): The energy levels have been high as the fans get behind the home side. The noise in the stadium is deafening.
18:59 (IST): The two captains, Joan Capdevila and Luis Garcia, lead their sides to the middle. The mandatory handshakes are in line. Joan Capdevila wins the toss and asks the visitors to start first up.
18:54 (IST): The Indian national anthem gets underway as the crowd cheers for the home team ahead of this contest. The players exchange handshakes as they take the field.
18:47 (IST): NorthEast United FC are starting with two strikers. Durga and Keene will play ahead. They are set to go all guns blazing on the Atletico de Kolkata.
A tricky test awaits the Northeast United FC as they prepare to host in-form Atletico de Kolkata in what promises to be cracker of a contest in the Indian Super League on Thursday.
The John Abraham co-owned franchise will have the packed home crowd on its side but they will need more than that to get the better of the visitors who are high on confidence after the 3-0 drubbing of Mumbai City FC in Sunday's tournament opener.
To start with, Northeast United FC pulled off a hard fought 1-0 victory against Kerala Blasters in a packed Indira Gandhi Stadium here even as the latter too fought valiantly till the end.
If the hosts are to challenge Kolkata's supremacy, they will have to think of ways to counter the attacking midfield trio of Borja Fernandez, Jofre and Luis Garcia United FC who flexed their muscles against Mumbai.
While Borja scored an absolute blinder against Mumbai, Garc?a ran the show from his position behind the two strikers in the middle of the park. (Read: NorthEast United Face Off Against Atletico de Kolkata)
Riding high on NorthEast United FC's home win against Kerela Blasters, team co-owner John Abraham has said that his team will put up a strong fight in his side's next Indian Super League (ISL) match against Atletico de Kolkata.
The actor and football enthusiast Abraham has, however, admitted that the next game would be one of the toughest considering the way they played to beat Mumbai FC at the inaugural match.
"Kolkata is a tough side but we are a young team... we will give our heart. We'll put up a fight like no one has ever seen," Abraham told reporters during his one hour-long visit here on Tuesday.
NE United FC pulled off a hard fought 1-0 victory against Kerala Blasters in a packed Indira Gandhi Stadium in Guwahati even as the latter were much better in the game statistically.
"They are a bunch of warriors out there," he said, optimistic that his team would give Atletico de Kolkata a tough fight in the latter's home turf. (Read: NorthEast United Will Put Up Good Fight Against Atletico de Kolkata, Says John Abraham)
OPENING WIN OVER SACHIN'S TEAM
Spanish striker Koke's opportunistic first-half strike ensured a 1-0 win for the NorthEast FC against Sachin Tendulkar co-owned Kerala Blasters FC in the second match of the Indian Super League in Guwahati on Monday.
The former Marseille frontman struck at the stroke of the break in the 45th minute with a snap angular right-footer that beat former England custodian David James, manning the Blasters bar.
It was an Aibor Khongjee throw inside the box towards David Ngaihte, who rolled it towards the tip of the box for the Koke. The 31-year-old 'Man from Malaga' took a first time shot to find the net.
NorthEast could have gone ahead in the 33rd minute when a 30-yard pile-driver from Durga Boro was brilliantly saved by an airborne James. Boro unleashed a lethal punch with his outstep and James dived full stretch to keep the home team at bay despite the vociferous support from the partisan capacity crowd at the Indira Gandhi Stadium.
With support of Tendulkar from the stands, Blasters could have got the lead but an Iain Hume goal was ruled off-side by the referee. (Read: Spanish Striker Koke Gives NorthEast United 1-0 Win Over Kerala Blasters)
KOLKATA KICK OFF ISL IN STYLE
Atletico de Kolkata gave the football-crazy city fans a night to remember in their 3-0 drubbing of Mumbai City FC as the inaugural Hero Indian Super League football tournament kicked off in spectacular fashion after a star-studded opening ceremony here.
It was Fikru Teferra who struck the first goal of the ISL to give the home franchise a 27th minute lead to bring the 70,000 capacity crowd at the Salt Lake Stadium to their feet, while Borja Fernandez's stunning volley from the edge of the box delighted one and all with some top quality stuff.
Substitute Arnal Llibert (90+3rd) gave the Kolkatans enough reasons to celebrate by turning Fikru's cross from the right to give a perfect ending to the match of the league touted to change the landscape of Indian football. (Read: Atletico de Kolkata Demolish Mumbai City FC in Opener)
|4||FC Pune City||18||9||3||6||30|
|6||Kerala Blasters FC||18||6||7||5||25|
|7||Mumbai City FC||18||7||2||9||23|
|8||Delhi Dynamos FC||18||5||4||9||19|
|10||NorthEast United FC||18||3||2||13||11|
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