The Hero Indian Super League (ISL) kicked off season four on Friday 17th November with a match between Atletico de Kolkata and Kerala Blasters, but despite it ending in a goalless draw ATK chief coach Teddy Sheringham asserted his side was better than the Blasters.
It was a glitzy night at the Jawaharlal Nehru stadium in Kochi with Bollywood stars Salman Khan and Katrina Kaif in attendance, along with the likes of Sachin Tendulkar and Nita Ambani.
Defending champions ATK were the superior side from the word go enjoying more possession in this fixture that was a rematch of last year’s final at the same venue. ATK have never lost their season opener and turned out to be no different as they continued their winning streak against Blasters. On the other hand the Blasters have lost only once in their opening match in three seasons.
The best chance for Kerala Blasters came in the opening minute of the extra time in the second half when Bulgarian goal machine Dimitar Berbatov’s, header off a corner was smartly saved by the goalkeeper.
Atletico were unlucky in the 69th minute as an effort from Jose Branco ricocheted off the far post with the Blasters goalkeeper Paul RAchubka out of position and beaten.
“A lot of effort put into the game. It was all about keeping the ball. I thought we did it slightly better than Kerala. The way we performed, I felt we were the better team,”said the former Manchester United player after the match.
“If it were a boxing match, we’d have won. I was satisfied with the performance, we took the game to Kerala,” Sheringham added.
Blasters manager Rene Meulensteen who was the former assistant to Sir Alex Ferguson at Manchester United was happy to take a point away from the game.