Atletico de Kolkata were denied their third consecutive victory in the Indian Super League (ISL) when they were held to a 1-1 draw by Delhi Dynamos at the Salt Lake Stadium here on Sunday. (Matchcentre | Highlights)
After a barren but closely-contested first half, the home team took lead in the 49th minute when midfielder Jofre converted a penalty but Dynamos restored parity through Pavel Elias (73rd minute).
Atletico, with seven points from three matches, maintained their position at the top of the standings while Dynamos were fifth with two draws from two matches.
The match began at a brisk pace with Delhi's marquee player Alessandro del Piero lively from the beginning, roaming around Kolkata's goalmouth menacingly. He got into a dangerous position in the sixth minute but went down claiming a penalty only for the referee to caution him for diving.
But it was the hosts who got the first clear chance. Their leading striker Ethiopian Fikru Teferra Lemessa capitalising on a a defensive mistake, used his body strength to get into a one-on-one situation with the goalkeeper inside the box. But his cheeky through-the-legs attempt was foiled by the alert custodian Kristof van Hout.
Both sides failed to make any headway but things changed after the break when four minutes into the second half Dynamos defender Wim Raymaekers pulled down Fikru inside the box to concede the first spot-kick of the tournament which Jofre coolly converted.
Kolkata's icon Luis Garcia had to be substituted at half-time for a hamstring complaint. But that didn't diminish their attacking strength as Jofre continued to ask questions of the Delhi defence.
They enjoyed superiority going into the final stretch of the match but were undone by a superb volley from Pavel (73rd). The ball rose nicely for the Czech Republic midfielder to launch into a fierce volley that crashed into the right hand top corner to earn Dynamos their second point from as many matches.
Atletico next face face FC Goa away Oct 23 while Dynamos entertain Chennaiyin FC at home October 25.