Defending champions Atletico de Kolkata have halted their string of defeats with a hard fought 2-2 draw with Kerala Blasters at Saltlake Stadium last Thursday.
ATK preserved their unbeaten record against last years finalists, having not lost a match against the side since 2015.
Both sides had their fair share of chances with the Blasters taking the lead twice. They first went ahead in the 34th minute after Ghanaian winger Courage Pekuson released his midfield colleague K. Prasanth who crossed from the left. The ball found debutant Gudjon Baldvinsson and the Icelander jumped high in the air to head home, as it took a deflection off ATK defender Jordi Figueras to find the net.
The lead lasted a mere 5 minutes as ATK equalised with a brilliant goal after Ryan Taylor got a deflection that rolled past the goalkeeper Subhasish Roy Chowdhury.
Fit-again Bulgarian marquee player Dimitar Berbatov got his first ISL goal in the 55th minute to put the Blasters back in front, but Tom Thorpe hit back in the 75th minute for the hosts for the second time as the match ended in a stalemate.
The draw took Kerala Blasters to fifth place with 21 points but with three games left for the Kochi-based outfit, ATK now have 13 points from as many games to be out of the play-off race.
Meanwhile the previous evening Pune City FC got the better of hosts NorthEast United in a 0-1 victory at the Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium in Guwahati.
It looked like the game would end in a goalless draw after a spate of missed chances. But the winner was delivered in the 86th minute after a delightful through ball from substitute Marko Stankovic to last year’s golden boot winner Marcelinho, kept his cool despite being chased by two NorthEast defenders and then beat onrushing goalkeeper TP Reheneesh.