It was Kerala Blasters who came out on top in the curtain raiser of the fifth edition of the Indian Super League(ISL) with a 2-0 victory over ATK at Salt Lake Stadium in Kolkata on Saturday. Matej Poplatnik and Slavisa Stojanovic were the two who found their names on the score sheet as ATK crumbled to surrendered to Kerala Blasters. Let’s have a look at some significant points of the game.
● ATK looked dominant but it was only for the first quarter :
In the first quarter of the game it was ATK who looked dominant but as the game went on they lacked the stability which they were able to maintain in the first 15 minutes. Everton Santos was the man who pushed ATK forward and Arindam who gave the boost from the back with two brilliant saves. Otherwise Blasters were the more compact side on the night.
● Both the flanks were the source of attack for the Kerala Blasters :
It was the wing play that did the trick for the away side. As both Holicharan
Narzary and Seminlen Doungel were proactive in the attack for the Kerala Blasters. Although Kerala blasters dominated both the flanks but it was the final ball that was missing from both these players. When the likes of C. K. Vineeth came into the match replacing Seminlen Doungel and gave a different dimension to Kerala Blaster’s play.
● ATK should be converting their chances :
Although it was Kerala Blasters who dominated most of the game but it was ATK who had quite a number of opportunities. ATK squandered their chances and failed to put the ball behind the net. One suchopportunity arrived when Lanzarote sent a long ball to Jayesh Rane who laid the ball off to Everton Santos who unleashed a shot over the crossbar. Balwant missed a open goal to put his header inside but missed it.
● Stojanovic’s efforts kept Kerala on top :
It was the shots from Stojanovic which eventually found the back of the
net. Although the first goal was scored by Poplatnik but it was the shot by Stojanovic which got deflected by Gerson Vieira that found Poplatnik who put the ball behind the net. And in the dying moments of the game, Stojanovic scored through an astonishing curler from outside the box.
● ATK has to bounce back :
After this 2-0 loss, ATK has to bounce back in their next game against NorthEast United who would be looking to replicate the result of Kerala Blasters. Although the new recruits Gerson Vieira, John Johnson, Everton Santos and Manuel Lanzarote all started this match against the Kerala Blasters but it looks like ATK needs the presence of the youth like Komal Thatal and Eugeneson Lyngdoh to up their game and do well in the tournament.