No wonder why the matches between Kerala Blasters FC and ATK Mohan Bagan is known as the Indian El Clasico. The recent duel had all of it when the dramatic match ended in a 2-2 draw when ATK Mohan Bagan scored a late equaliser.
ATK Mohun Bagan moved to the top of the table, and Kerala Blasters FC entered the top-four after the two sides played out an enthralling 2-2 draw in the Indian Super League in Vasco on Saturday. But ATK were dropped to second when Hyderabad FC won against Goa FC on the same day.
Adrian Luna opened the scoring for Kerala in the 7th minute with a stunning free-kick before David Williams drew level inside one minute. Luna scored his second and handed Kerala the lead back in the second half, but Joni Kauko made it 2-2 to break Kerala hearts at the Tilak Maidan Stadium in stoppage time. The result means Kerala has 27 points from 16 games and sits in fourth place, while ATK Mohun Bagan is second in the table with 30 points from 16 outings.
Both teams have now shared a crucial point that will be decisive to qualify for the playoffs.
The game started with continuous attacking from both teams. Kerala took the lead inside the first eight minutes, Luna curling in a free-kick up and over the wall and into the left corner leaving Amrinder Singh stranded in ATKMB goal.
One minute later, ATKMB equalised. Pritam Kotal sent in a low cross the first time for Williams to tap it home on the run.
Both teams continued to attack in the first half, and a shot from Liston Colaco was saved by Kerala Blasters young keeper Prabhsukhan Gill.
Alvaro Vazquez also saw his first-time attempt sail over the woodwork after Jorge Diaz did well to set up his teammate. At halftime, both teams were level at 1-1.
At the start of the second half, ATKMB head coach Juan Ferrando replaced goalscorer Williams with Hugo Boumous, and the Frenchman did have an impact, controlling play in the midfield. But Kerala Blasters stunned ATK Mohan Bagan in the second half. Khawlhring got the ball on the edge of the box and chipped it to Luna, who chested it down. His shot dipped into the top right corner.
ATK was looking to equalise at all costs, and Prabir Das was sent off moments later for a rash challenge on Luna. But it did not stop ATK from equalising. Kauko made it 2-2 from a Boumous pass inside the box. The Finland international letting fly a powerful shot past Gill and into the goal.