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Atletico de Kolkata are ISL-3 champions, beat Kerala Blasters

By Newsd
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Atletico de Kolkata on Sunday lifted the Indian Super League trophy a second time by beating Kerala Blasters once again in the final.

Unlike the last time though, they had to do ti the hard way and toiled through extra time to win 4-3 on penalties. Kerala Blasters had initially taken the lead in the shootout but ATK managed to keep their calm and came out on top.

The match had gotten off to a flier with both sides playing end to end. Kerala Blasters took the lead towards the end of half time but just before the referee blew the whistle to mark the end of the first 45, Atletico de Kolkata equalised through Sereno.

Both Aaron Hughes and Helder Postiga were taken off the field before full time. Postiga had missed a few good chances in the first half.

The two sides then laboured it out through the second half and extra time period as the heat and humidity of Kochi took its toll on them.

As the second period of extra time started it was clear that neither side would be able to find a winner through normal play. It turned out to be true as 30 minutes of extra time came to an end with both sides locked at 1-1 and the match went into penalties.

Kerala Blasters were the first to take it and German made sure that he burried it in the back of the net. Atletico de Kolkata’s first kick taker Iain Hume, who had ended up in the losing time the last time these two sides played at this stage of the tournament stepped up. His shot was saved by Kerala Blasters’ goalkeeper Graham Stack.

But Kerala themselves missed twice. The first was blazed over by El-Hadji Ndoye who was the man who came on in place of Aaron Hughes. The second was by Cedric Hengbart who was brilliant in defence throughout the match.

Finally, Jewel Raja’s kick turned out to be the decisive one as he put it past Stack and the celebrations began for Atletico de Kolkata.