ISL 2016: Advantage Kerala but history favours Kolkata in grand finale




The excitement among fans in Kerala is unbelievable and has reached the highest point as Kerala Blasters seek to ride on massive home support and a fantastic six-match winning record in the Hero Indian Super League final against Atletico de Kolkata at Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, Kochi, on Sunday.

Hero ISL 2016 finalist Kerala Blasters and ATK players Sandip Nandy, CK Vineeth, Abinash Ruidas and Jewel Raja at the Pre-Final Press Conference

Hero ISL 2016 finalist Kerala Blasters and ATK players Sandip Nandy, CK Vineeth, Abinash Ruidas and Jewel Raja at the Pre-Final Press Conference

Kerala Blasters have won a record six matches in a row at their home ground and know that a passionate home crowd would be the proverbial 12th man for them. They have also managed to keep a clean sheet in half of their home matches, conceding just four goals at home but manager Steve Coppell knows they cannot afford to take anything for granted.

“It will obviously be a comfortable atmosphere for us because it’s our home crowd but the crowd don’t play. They give us huge support. Whoever wins tomorrow needs to earn the trophy by playing well. I am sure both sides have that intention going into the game. The crowd is nothing more than a great background for us to play against but it won’t give us a goal-start or stop goals going in,” said Coppell.

Coppell would have surely known results in the past, particularly last season when FC Goa played the final at home but lost against Chennaiyin FC. The final showdown also provides Kerala Blasters with a chance to avenge defeat from the first season when Atletico de Kolkata pipped them at the post for the inaugural title.

“I think it’s just neutral. It’s a game. Once the match kicks-off, it doesn’t really matter what happens outside (in the stands),” said Coppell.

The massive stadium in Kochi is not alien to Atletico de Kolkata. They are a rare team to walk away with a victory from Kochi when Javier Lara grabbed a second-half winner and marquee player Helder Postiga, who is accustomed to such atmospheres, expects the crowd to make it difficult for the away team.

“I expect a big atmosphere tomorrow. It’s one of the best atmosphere in ISL. When we played here, we saw how difficult Kerala can be a difficult team,” said Postiga.

Atletico de Kolkata have been the more consistent teams in ISL losing just two games. Even in the second-leg semi-final against Mumbai City FC, coach Jose Molina made nine changes and still managed to wriggle past their opponents, possibly keeping players fresh for the grand finale.

“I don’t know whether we are the most consistent. It’s true we only lost two matches but I have respect for all teams. Kerala have had a great season but we will try to win. We want the trophy,” said Molina.

Atletico de Kolkata have won just one of their four knock-out matches away from Kolkata, which was the final in ISL 2014, against Kerala Blasters in Mumbai. They will hope for a repeat in front of massive support for the home team on Sunday.

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Author:

Aspiring Media Enthusiast, Cricket Tragic, Football Fanatic, Avid Reader, Amateur Photographer & Wannabe Sports Writer.

Cricket

ICC Champions Trophy Final 2017: India vs Pakistan – Live Cricket Score

ICC Champions Trophy Final 2017: India vs Pakistan – Live Cricket Score

Posted by: Atish Home Chowdhury on June 17th, 2017

The two cricket giants of Asia; India and Pakistan will lock horns against each other at the epic ICC Champions Trophy finale match at the Oval on Sunday. India ..

Football

Match officials for the FIFA U-17 World Cup India 2017 appointed

Match officials for the FIFA U-17 World Cup India 2017 appointed

Posted by: Vikram Kamboj on August 18th, 2017

With only two months to go before the FIFA U-17 World Cup India 2017 kicks off, the FIFA Referees Committee has appointed 21 trios of match officials, represent ..

Tennis

Rafael Nadal vs Stan Wawrinka: French Open Men’s Final 2017 – Preview

Rafael Nadal vs Stan Wawrinka: French Open Men’s Final 2017 – Preview

Posted by: Atish Home Chowdhury on June 11th, 2017

The stage is set for the mouth-watering and nail-biting clash of the two Tennis stalwarts of the current era; Rafael Nadal and Stan Wawrinka. This will be the u ..

F1

Life Lessons learned from Sports & Fitness #TOSBDay

Life Lessons learned from Sports & Fitness #TOSBDay

Posted by: Vikram Kamboj on September 26th, 2016

Held on Sept 1st, The Outstanding Speakers’ Bureau (TOSB) Twinterview consisted of sports panelists such as Mark Gallagher (Public Speaker on F1 race), Shayam ..

Boxing

Boxing Federation of India successfully concludes AIBA Course and Examination

Boxing Federation of India successfully concludes AIBA Course and Examination

Posted by: Vikram Kamboj on February 24th, 2017

Rohtak, February 24, 2016: In continuation to produce the AIBA certified Coaches, Referees and Judges; Boxing Federation of India successfully organised the AIB ..

Other Sports

Indian athletes begin impressively at 22nd Asian Athletics Championships

Indian athletes begin impressively at 22nd Asian Athletics Championships

Posted by: Vikram Kamboj on July 6th, 2017

Indian interests on the opening day of the 22nd Asian Athletics Championships were high with national record holder Muhammed Anas easing into the semi-finals of ..

One stop guide to all the latest sports news, reviews, opinions, fixtures and live scores from India and around the world.

Copyright © 2017 | The Sports Mirror