Indian Super League is a men’s professional league in India. The league has gained a lot of popularity since its inception in 2013. The league acts a great stage for upcoming as well as experienced players to showcase their talent and skills and also help in popularising the sport of football in India.
The 2016 Season
The 2016 season of Hero ISL was the third season of the league. The season kicked off 1st October 2016 and concluded with the final on 18th December 2016. The season featured 8 teams with each team playing 14 matches before the start of the knockout stage.
The regular season began on 1st October and ended on 4th December and the finals began on 10th December and concluded on 14th December. In the regular season, each of the 8 teams played each other twice. The top four sides at the end who qualified for the finals were: Mumbai City FC, Kerala Blasters, Delhi Dynamos and Atletico de Kolkata.
Atletico de Kolkata defeated Mumbai City Fc in the first seminal by 3-2 on aggregate. In the second semi-final, Kerala Blasters defeated Delhi Dynamos to set up a final clash with Atletico de Kolkata.
The final match of ISL 2016 was played between Kerala Blasters and Atletico de Kolkata on 18th December 2016 at Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, Kochi.
Atletico defeated Blasters by 4-3 on penalties to be crowned the champions for the second time in three years.
The match saw Kerala Blasters take a lead in the 37th minute courtesy a goal by Mohammed Rafi. Atletico’s Sereno Fonesca put the ball behind the net just before the half-time to score the equaliser.
The penalty shootout saw Iain Hume miss the first shot for Atletico de Kolkata. But the misses by Kerala Blasters Ndoye and Cedric Hengbart ensured that the trophy goes to the ATK.