Atletico de Kolkata became the first team to win the Indian Super League for the second time, beating Kerala Blasters 4-3 on penalties after the 120 minutes finished with both sides deadlocked at 1-1.
Whilst Atletico enjoyed the better of the chances, they were pegged back Mohammed Rafi rose highest to meet Mehtab Hossain’s corner to give the home side the lead and send the packed Jawaharlal Nehru stadium into raptures. Sereno, however, crawled back things for Kolkata from a corner of their own.
Kerala did get the initial advantage as Kolkata’s first attempt went astray when Iain Hume’s shot was saved by Stack. However, misses from Elhadji Ndoye and Cedric Hengbart eventually proved to be death knell for Kerala.
Here are the player ratings from Sunday night’s action:
Graham Stack (6/10)
Did well to stop a number of shots, although most were hit at him. Did well to stop Iain Hume’s effort. Didn’t have any chance regarding the goal.
Sandesh Jhingan (6.5/10)
Wasn’t really a threat going forward as we have seen in the ISL earlier, especially after shifting to the middle after Hughes’ untimely departure because of injury. Was at fault for the Atletico goal as Sereno got the better of him.
Cedric Hengbart (7.5/10)
Arguably the player of the match in the 120 minutes of the games, it was anti-climactic time to the game for the Frenchman who missed the final penalty of the game.
Aaron Hughes (5/10)
Had to be taken off with an injury in the first half. Much better was expected from the skipper in the opening minutes as the Kolkata frontline seemed to get both time and space on the ball. Could have had a more severe impact on another day.
Ishfaq Ahmed (7/10)
Did brilliantly filling in for the suspended Josu. Kolkata went to Sameehg Doutie time and again to provide the spark, but Ishfaq was a shadow that Doutie failed to get past. Did brilliantly taking into factor that he was suffering from cramps as well.
Azrack Mahamat (4/10)
Never quite ever got into the game, which allowed ATK duo of Jewel Raja and Borja, much joy in the middle of the park. Failed to provide much support to Mehtab.
Mehtab Hossain (7/10)
Another gritty performance from Mehtab who never quite let Borja play to his potential. Had a huge say in keeping Postiga quite and eventually make him look a frustrated figure in the middle. His fine delivery from the corner saw Kerala take the lead in the first half.
CK Vineeth (3.5/10)
Not at his best by any stretch of the imagination. He was effectively kept in check by
Kervens Belfort (7/10)
Looked arguably Kerala’s biggest threat to score a goal from open play. His trickery and pace got the better of the Kolkata midfielders. But as we have seen time and again, his composure let him down badly in the final third.
Mohammed Rafi (7/10)
A workmanlike performance from the veteran, who not only got the goal for the hosts but also was effective in keeping the threat of Pritam Kotal and Sameehg Doutie down the Atletico right.
Duckens Nazon (5/10)
Lacked composure in the final third. His pace was always going to be a threat. But Sereno kept him in check for most parts of the game.
Elhadji Ndoye (6/10)
Looked astute in defence after coming on for Aaron Hughes. However, his night will be remembered for the missed penalty, which he blazed high and wide.
Mohammed Rafique (6/10)
He was the hero the last time these two teams met in the 2014 ISL final as his late goal secured the win for Kolkata. This time in the yellow of his home state.
Antonio German (4/10)
Failed to make any real impression on the proceedings after coming on for Nazon.
Atletico de Kolkata
Debjit Majumdar (7.5/10)
Showed great composure whilst on the field as he again showed his supreme shot-stopping abilities. Was the hero at the end of the game as stopped Hengbart’s penalty to win the game for Kolkata.
Pritam Kotal (4/10)
Looked off colour and was taken for a ride by Belfort, time and again. The times he forayed into the Blasters’ territory failed to get much joy with his crosses into the box.
Played tirelessly, covering for the fullbacks who had their task cut out. Complimented Sereno well in the middle as Kerela never got a clear goalscoring opportunity.
The man from Portugal had saved the best for last. Sereno showed us why he was a former international as he led the backline with much authority. It was not only his defensive abilities but also his heart that shone on the night. The goal to bring ATK back in the game was just the icing on the cake that was needed to mark off a special night.
Keegan Perreira (6/10)
Looked to be doing good against Vineeth in the first half. But had to be sadly
Borja Fernandez (6/10)
An uncharacteristically sloppy performance from the Spaniard especially with the ball at his feet. The ATK skipper tried to do too much too often when in possession and the results were
Jewel Raja Shaikh (5/10)
Not the best of games in the middle and people would be quick to compare his with Steven Pearson, who had to miss out with Molina fielding two foreign centre-backs. Kept his composure in the end to slot in the winning penalty.
Sameegh Doutie (6/10)
Kolkata looked to him time and again to provide the spark down the flank against Ishfaq, who was struggling with cramps. The South African looked to be too reliant on beating Ishfaq with sheer pace and lacked creativity. His well-directed corner-kick, however, helped Kolkata draw level.
Helder Postiga (2/10)
Not much went right for the man from Portugal who could have a had a hat-trick to his name before the end of the first thirty minutes. But the marquee man scruffed each opportunity wide of the mark. Looked clueless and jaded at times which resulted in him being taken off.
Lalrindika Ralte (6/10)
Got in some balls from the left, But never quite was on synce with his strikers and could have done much better with a grounded cross in the second half.
Iain Hume (5/10)
Put in a real shift but couldn’t get any change from Hengbart, who was supreme for Kerala at the back. His missed penalty in the shootout could have turned the game on its head.
Prabir Das (6/10)
Came in for Keegan Perreira and seamlessly fitted into the role at left back. Vineeth hardly got much change out of him.
Javi Lara (6.5/10)
Came in to replace Postiga and showed ral composure on the ball. However, failed to produce any real moment of magic.
Oftense Nato (6.5/10)
Came in late for the battling Sereno. Did well to keep the likes of Belfort and German at bay.