ISL 2017, Who said what: Kerala Blasters and ATK play out 0-0 draw in season opener
The opening match of the new season of the Indian Super League Season 4 between the Kerala Blasters and ATK ended in a 0-0 draw as both sides opted to play it safe. Chances were few and far between as both keepers made a couple of regulation saves each while the defences on both sides held their ground well.
The match ended with the points shared but the reactions from the managers tell a different story. Rene Meulensteen, the manager of the home side was satisfied with side's performance and clean sheet while on the other hand, Teddy Sheringham, the ATK boss, was of the opinion were the better team on the night. Here's what the gaffers said:
"I'm glad we kept a clean sheet. It is the opening game of the new ISL season and there is a lot to do for both sides. It's a big challenge for me as well as Teddy (Sheringham). It is a challenge to bring together players from so many different backgrounds and get them to play in a certain style."
"At times, we should have kept the ball better. We were rash on certain occasions but in the second half, we were much better. We just lacked the cutting edge in the final third and didn't put the ball enough into dangerous areas.
"Next match, we face Jamshedpur. I'm sure it will be a big moment for Coppell and the fans. He did a lovely job last year and I am sure the fans will welcome him back."
"We deserved more from this game. It was an away game for us and we took the game to Kerala. We were the better team and created the better chances. If it was a boxing match, we would have been given the win on points."
"One really has to adapt how hot it is here. Both teams were very tired in the first half. It is very important to keep the ball in this heat and you can't go around chasing it all game. I'm pleased with our performance but it's that we didn't get the goal in the end."
"The crowd was quite incredible and it was playing in front of them. We came to the stadium at 6 and it was already packed. The atmosphere was wonderful. This is what it is all about and why we play!"
Man of the Match Nemanja Lakic-Pesic:
"It was a fair result in the end. Both sides were equal. I must say that our opponent was very good. But we have the clean sheet and it is a good start for us. We hope to build on it and do better."
"In the next matches, we need to have more possession during the game and be a little calmer with the ball. We must be patient in attack and wait for our chances."
"The fans today were incredible. It was a huge crowd and it was amazing to play in front of them. It was an unbelievable experience!"
Here are some of the best reactions from social media: