On Sunday, Atletico de Kolkata once again lifted the Indian Super League trophy after beating Kerala Blasters in the finals, but this time, after being locked in a 1-1 draw after extra time it went to a penalty shootout, where ATK edged passed their opponents 4-3 to be crowned champions.
It had been an entertaining tournament with both sides providing spectacular performances before the climax at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, Kochi in front of a 55,000 crowd.
It was the second time in three years ATK and Blasters had met in a repeat of their previous final in the inaugural edition of the ISL.
The Blasters had taken the lead in the 37th minute through Mohamed Rafi header after Kervens Belfort forced a corner.
ATK had a corner of their own in the 43rd minute and Sameehg Doutie’s kick was headed in my central defender Henrique Sereno to equalise just before the halftime whistle.
From then on both sides battled to the end to find the winner with ATK scaring the crowd in the 81st minute when Borja played in Didika whose shot-cum-cross from the left drew an indecisive attempt from Graham Stack. Both sides had a further two chances before extra time.
Ultimately it went to a shoot-out with Antonio German setting the tone for the Blasters, sending Debjit Majumder the wrong way. Iain Hume stepped up for ATK, his shot denied by Stack, before Belfort put his side 2-0 ahead with a right footed shot to the bottom right corner.
Doutie was next to convert for ATK, followed by Blaster’s Ouzin Ndoye miss. Borja converted for ATK with a right footed shot to bottom right corner, followed by Rafique’s convert for the Blasters.
Javi Lara went next for ATK, burying his right footed shot, whilst Cedric Hengbart failed to capitalise for Balsters with his right footed attempt saved in the centre of goal. Raja’s converted his penalty with a right footed shot to the bottom right corner to end the shoot-out.
The Sourav Ganguly owned team clinched the ISL season three trophy after an excruciating final to make history!