History repeats as atk emerge champions

Kochi: History repeated itself in the Hero Indian Super League as Atletico de Kolkata stunned Kerala Blasters FC 5-4 via tie-breaker to emerge champions in final of the third edition at Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, Kochi, on Sunday. Atletico de Kolkata had defeated Kerala Blasters with a late winner to emerge champions in the inaugural edition in 2014 and two years later they left Kerala Blasters stunned in front of their packed home stadium to pocket the title for the second time in three years. It looked like Atletico de Kolkata would miss out on top honour after striker Iain Hume had missed his first penalty but ATK converted the next four penalties through Sameehg Doutie, Borja Fernandez. , Javier Lara and Jewel Raja.
Kerala Blasters converted their penalties through Antonio German, Kervens Belfort and Mohammed Rafique, while Elhadji Ndoye shot wide and captain Cedric Hengbart saw his final penalty being saved by the legs of goalkeeper Debjit Majumder.
The teams were tied 1-1 at the end of regulation time after both teams struck in the opening 45 minutes. While Mohammed Rafi gave Kerala the lead in 37th minute, Atletico de Kolkata drew level through Henrique Sereno in 44th minute.
The grand finale saw both teams maintaining a high tempo in the opening 45 minutes which meant they had enough chances to seize the initiative.
Kerala Blasters had the first look at the rival goal in 10th minute when Helder Postiga lost the ball in midfield and Kervens Belfort launched a quick counter-attack. He got past his marker and pushed the ball to Rafi who tried to finish it off but his shot was blocked by a sliding rival defender.

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