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ISL 2: Salt Lake Stadium turf draws flak from Roberto Carlos

Kolkata: Brazilian World Cup winner Roberto Carlos yesterday criticised the newly-laid grass turf of the Vivekananda Yuva Bharati Krirangan, one of the venues for the 2017 FIFA U-17 World Cup.

Roberto Carlos. Pic/Atul Kamble
Roberto Carlos. Pic/Atul Kamble

The gigantic stadium in Salt Lake has undergone a transformation as its artificial turf has been removed with grass turf back in place. But the Delhi Dynamos marquee player-cum-manager Carlos was not impressed by the grass surface and termed it "loose".

"Personally, I didn't like the ground. The grass is loose and keep coming out. The speed of the game could be improved if the pitch remains firm," the 2002 World Cup winner told a reporters after their 1-0 win over home side Atletico de Kolkata in an ISL match here.

After a dull goalless 90 minutes, Dynamos struck the winner through substitute Gustavo dos Santos in the injury time minute to inflict a third successive loss on the defending champions. Bringing on Gustavo Dos Santos in the second-half was a masterstroke and Carlos said he did it to speed up the game.

"We were a little lucky to win this. It does not matter how we win. The important thing is to win. Usually the team's second half slows down. Dos Santos is very fast so we want him to come later and speed up the game. It was a very important victory for us. I want to congratulate him (Dos Santos)," he said.

The 42-year-old also turned up for his second ISL game as he came in the 65th minute to a boisterous welcome from the 35000-odd turnout.

"I want to thank supporters of ATK for the love and I'm very happy to play here. It's very hard for me now and it takes a while to get the rhythm back. But it's an amazing honour for me to participate with this amazing bunch of players."

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