A solid and valiant defensive performance by ATK was undone by 2014 World cup winner Andre schurrle with a long curler in the bottom corner.
It was a historic moment as ATK locked horns Premier league side fulham fc on Saturday at pinatar arena,Murcia in a friendly match.
Fulham who utilised the current international break to train in Spain whereas ATK who are on pre-season campaign from 3 weeks at pinatar arena where they have already registered two wins from last two practice matches.
Both the teams started with strong line-up. ATK played with the same formation of 4-2-3-1.
The match started on a slow note with both teams trying assessing each and trying to keep possession of the ball.Calcum chambers starting in a holding midfield glanced a header parried clear in opening ten minutes and floyd Ayite in the ninth minute has a well struck free-kick saved by Arindham Bhattacharya as fulham fc began to control the match from the offset.
In the 14th minute Kalu uche was provided with a great chance however he made a meal of opportunity for the ISL side early which would have given lead to ATK. After that fulham Fc had the majority of possession and good attacks though Floyd,Vietto and le Marchad failed to capitalize.Good defending by ATK made sure the scorlines remains the same.
In the 44th minute, Lanza’s brilliant free-kick missed the net by the smallest of margin. However just minutes after that the best chance came to Aboubakar kamara who on a fluid counter attack break through the ATK defense past John Johnson who was trying hard to get him down took shot however Arindham Bhattacharya’s solid save ensure that both teams go all squar at half-time at the pinatar arena.
At the start of second half ATK brought in jayesh Rane in place of impressive Komal Thatal who had a good outing on the flanks whereas Harvey and Sergi Rico was brought on for ATM loaned man Luciano veitto and fabri.
Arindham was seen once again in action as he was able to save a shot with his feet from Sergi Rico. Not much happened after that as both teams were trying to keep maximum hold of the ball.
AT the 60th minute ,Steve Coppell decided to give chances to indian youngster as captain Lanzarote, Kalu uche, Everton and malsuala went off and replaced by Faiaz, Balwant,Cavin lobo and Eugenson. Head coach Steve coppell’ s decision to give chances to indian youngsters was certainly appreciable as it was great and valuable experience for the indian players.
However this gave to fulham fc who ultimately scored from outside the box courtesy of stuning curler by star player Andre Schurrle in the 71st minute of the game. The German who gave the the assist to Goetze in Fifa world cup 2014 received the ball outside box controls it and curls in the bottom corner moments Elliot two shot was saved by Arindham Bhattacharya.
In the 76th minute Balwant singh’s header went past the goal thanks to good cross jayesh Rane. After few more substitutions , ATK featured a all indian line-up giving match experience to all.
The game eventually slowed down till in the 84th minute Abou burst past his men on left wing to pass a ball to Joe Bryan whose brilliant right shot was brilliantly saved by ever impressive Arindham Bhattacharya.
The match ended and ATK were just one step down with Andre schurrle goal being the difference between the two sides.
However things would have been different for the two times ISL champions of Coppell hadn’t decide to bring an all indians o field though it benefited heavily giving them a good boost and match experience to the Indian players.
Despite the loss , the experience would certainly serve as a boost for Steve Coppellside before ISL 2018-19.
ATK will now play CD Almunecar on 11th September before they fly back to kolkata on 16th September.
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