The inaugural match of Indian Super League 2018-19 season saw Kerala Blasters take home the winning ball against host ATK at Kolkata.
Matej Poplatnik, Blasters’ 26-year striker bagged the opening goal in the 77th minute with a smooth header over the ATK custodian Arindam Bhattacharya. Slavisa Stajnovic sealed the driver’s spot later with a thrashing shot in 86th minute.
David James and boys would be satisfied, leaving Kolkata with the three points to begin their playoffs journey.
Here, we take a look at the hits and flops from the opening match of ISL 5:
#1 Hit: Matej Poplatnik
The Slovenian import seems to be Blasters' answer to a lot of questions. The vacancy left at the front, by the departure of Iain Hume might be filled in by this 26-year old.
Poplatnik was involved in the attack right from the start but missed the finishing touch on multiple occasions. He came close to goal in the early stages of the game, a header in the 4th minute that drifted past the post. The same man was behind the 7 corners Blasters sent into the ATK box, including one that felt the crossbar.
The constant attack Poplatnik developed from the long balls fed in from midfield and defense kept the momentum going for the yellow army. Finally in the 77th minute, he found the net from an easy header that was placed out of reach of the ATK keeper.