ATK won the title for the second time in three years beating Kerala Blasters on penalties in Kochi on Sunday. "So, on behalf of all the players and all support staff, I would like to say a huge thank you to the supporters", said the former Manchester City boss after the ISL final here on Sunday. In front of a sea of yellow, which has often been their 12th man. "I can only compliment them for having given so much".
"They played to a plan and Molina knew what he was doing all along". They will have exhausted legs, but inspired minds. Today Kolkata has won.
Most of Atletico's attacks come through the right hand channel. It was heartbreaking for Kerala and Nandy, who has been with Kerala Blasters since the first season. With Josu suspended, it will most likely be Kadio on the left unless Coppell pops in a surprise by including Rino Anto, a right-back by nature on the left. In either case, a battle on the wings is certain.
The team is owned by Kolkata Games and Sports Pvt. They did it in ISL 2014 (-2) & ISL 2016 (-2). Yet he does possess a knack for scoring crucial goals in the biggest of matches.
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The league leaders were already guaranteed to be top of the tree at Christmas and a first-half goal from Diego Costa extended a run that stretches back to October 1.
Since November 21, two years back, the hosts have never beaten ATK with the final in the same year, which happened to be ISL's first edition, crowning the Kolkata outfit in glory and shoving the southern side to the backwaters. Both teams looked exhausted. What will happen if two teams from Kolkata get to the final or one team makes it?
"It will obviously be a comfortable atmosphere for us because it's our home crowd but the crowd doesn't play".
"We now have two stars on our shirts", ATK's Canadian striker Iain Hume, who finished as the highest scorer for the team, said referring to ATK's second title triumph in three years of the tournament.
"The fans will be in the stands; it will be us, the players, on the pitch who will have to matter", said local boy CK Vineeth, even though he believes, "it will be the fans' cheering that give players the extra push to perform".