2016 Indian Super League Final: Kerala Blasters vs. Atletico de Kolkata

Kerala Blasters FC welcome Atlético de Kolkata in the final of Hero Indian Super League 2016 at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Kochi on Sunday evening. The two teams are in familiar territory as they lace up for an encore of the 2014 final. ATK got the better of Kerala in that game but the latter will be eager to avenge that loss and what better way to do it than lifting the trophy in front of their passionate supporters tomorrow. Kerala have been on a roll in Kochi having won their last six matches there but the fact that their only loss at the venue this season came against Kolkata is also certain to prey on their minds. The Blasters will be without their influential player Josu Currais after the Spaniard picked up an automatic suspension due to yellow card accumulation.

Kolkata, on the other hand, head into the game having lost just two games all season. They showed their attacking prowess in the first leg of their semi-final at home against Mumbai to win 3-2 against the best defence in the league. The second leg saw them pull off a defensive masterclass as they held Mumbai’s potent attacking line to a 0-0 draw. ATK will be without defender Robert Lalthlamuana and forward Juan Belencoso owing to suspensions. Plenty of sub-plots will also be on show on Sunday since the player who scored the winner for Kolkata in the 2014 final, Mohammed Rafique is now playing for Kerala, while the Blasters’ top scorer from that season, Iain Hume is now donning Kolkata colours.

Head-to-Head: The inaugural season of the Hero ISL saw the teams play out a 1-1 draw in Kolkata before the Blasters pipped ATK 2-1 in Kochi. The two teams met again in the final of the league that year, which Kolkata won 1-0 to become champions. Hero ISL 2015 witnessed Kolkata do the double over Kerala with them winning 2-1 at home and 3-2 away. This season, ATK edged past the Blasters 1-0 in Kochi before the teams played out a 1-1 draw in Kolkata.

(Disclaimer: Due to finals commitments and writing two 10 page papers, I took this from the ISL website: link)



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