ISL-3: Defending champions Atletico de Kolkata play out goalless draw with FC Pune City
Defending champions end the round-robin stage with 20 points from 14 matches.
Kolkata: In an inconsequential Indian Super League (ISL) 2016 match at the Rabindra Sarovar stadium Atletico de Kolkata (ATK) played out a goalless draw with visiting FC Pune City on Friday.
The tame draw meant that the defending champions end the round-robin stage with 20 points from 14 matches, while the Pune outfit ended with 16 points from as many matches. ATK have already qualified for the last-four. Pune entered the field of play knowing they are out of knock-out contention.
Despite booking a semi-final spot, ATK are still uncertain of where will they finish in the table, as the results from Saturday's Mumbai City FC-Delhi Dynamos and Sunday's Kerala Blasters FC-NorthEast United FC matches have all the bearings of producing position altering outcomes.
In front of a capacity crowd, the home side started the proceedings on a bright note, and Javi Lara's direct go at the Pune goal from a free-kick forced a save from Arindam Bhattacharya as early as the fifth minute.
It was indeed a sorry sight for ATK that their forward Juan Belencoso failed to convert any of the chances which came his way. Despite dominating Pune, the scorecard remained 0-0 at half-time.
But the second half witnessed both the teams in equal footing, even though the visitors enjoyed majority of the possession. For Antonio Habas, a win would have done a world good.
Pune failed to create good enough chances with a visible lack of leaders up front. Still, they seemed to have found enough motivation for a goal towards the end of the match, but both Dramane Traore and Sanju Pradhan found their respective finishings far from perfect.
In contrast, ATK produced lot more chances and once again, it was Belencoso who almost scored for them. But his header in the 51st minute just missed the target.
The match ended with both teams sharing the spoils.
Meanwhile, Kochi has been selected as the venue for the season finale to be played on December 18.
— Indian Super League (@IndSuperLeague) December 2, 2016
In the last two previous seasons, finals were played in Mumbai and Margao in 2014 and 2015 respectively.