Gustavo dos Santos played Super Sub, finding an injury-time goal as 10-man Delhi Dynamos downed defending champion Atletico de Kolkata 1-0 and picked up its fourth win of the ISL, here at the Salt Lake Stadium on Thursday.
The turnaround for the visitors happened in the inspiring presence of their World Cup winning star Roberto Carlos, who kept his promise and made his second appearance in the tournament as a player after the interval.
Dynamos played with 10 men after midfielder Souvik Chakraborty was sent off in the 81st minute with his second booking of the match. The win took Dynamos to second position on the table with 12 points from six outings.
While Dynamos continue to flourish in a state of minimalism, winning all their matches with a lone-goal margin, ATK has found itself on the wrong end of fortune, suffering its third consecutive loss in six appearances.
The match remained staid for the greater part and came alive only in the final quarter when the hosts tried to be more offensive. ATK fielded South African Sameehg Doutie in place of Spaniard Javi Lara, who joined the growing list of the injured in the home camp.
Lara’s absence meant there was more pressure on ATK’s lone striker Iain Hume, who ran into a mob of opposition defenders on the few occasions he was set up inside the Dynamos box.
Hume came close to scoring in the 15th minute when Doutie found him with a neat cross from the left. But the Canadian striker could only manage a feeble header.
Dynamos, who played an overtly defensive game, had their chance through Richard Gadze on a quick counter-attack in the 24th minute. The Ghanaian produced a wild effort that saw the ball sail over from close range.
The hosts had another chance in the 66th minute when Doutie played a one-two with Jaime Gavilan on top of the box before firing a grounder. The ball deflected off the feet of Carlos and ran towards the goal before ‘keeper Antonio Doblas put in a desperate dive to retrieve the ball inches from the goalmouth.
The visitors played the masterstroke in the third minute of injury-time when the hosts appeared to be resting on their oars.
Dynamos launched a snap counter-attack, Frenchman Florent Malouda chugging up the right flank and cutting it back to an unmarked dos Santos.
The 60th minute substitute did not make any mistake in placing the ball past the hapless Amrinder Singh in the ATK goal.
Atletico de Kolkata 0 lost to Delhi Dynamos 1 (Gustavo dos Santos 90+3).
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