- ISL 2018 kicked off yesterday
- Kerala and Atletico played out a 0-0 draw
- ATK are defending champions
The Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Kochi played host to a glamorous and star-studded opening ceremony as this year’s edition of the Indian Super League kicked off with much panache. Stars were present in full force with Salman Khan hosting the evening and Katrina Kaif providing high octane entertainment to a jam-packed stadium. The two new teams- Jamsedhapu FC and Bengaluru FC were welcomed to the ISL whose inclusion will see the tournament being played over four months. Owners Sachin Tendulkar and Nita Ambani kicked off the opening match after an enthralling opening ceremony much to the delight of the crowd.
Kerala Blasters welcomed defending champions Atletico De Kolkata in Kochi as both the teams kicked started their campaign. It was billed as a potential clash between former Manchester United players with ATK having Teddy Sheringham as their coach and the Kerala Blasters team featuring star striker Dimitar Berbatov and defender Wes Brown both ex-Manchester United players. Having lost the same tie last year, Blasters came out looking for revenge and starting their tournament emphatically by defeating last year’s champions.
Having never lost an opening day game, Kolkata had their sights on a win from the first whistle itself. They attacked from the get-go itself creating a slew of chances but were let down by some poor finishing from their side. Playing on the attack throughout the match, they dominated proceedings almost throughout the entire 90 minutes but were thwarted in their efforts to find the opening goal as Kerala defended with full might and grit. Hitting on the counter-attack, Kerala found themselves in good positions on a couple of occasions but failed to find the back of the net. The match sizzled at times but failed to really kick off with both the team’s settling for a point each as the match ended 0-0 at the end of the final whistle.