Bartholomew Ogbeche struck a brace to assist Kerala Blasters beat ATK 2-1. (Source:

Nigerian striker Bartholomew Ogbeche struck a brace to assist Kerala Blasters beat ATK 2-1 in the opening match of the Indian Super League season six in Kochi on Sunday.

Carl McHugh scored ATK’s 100th purpose of the ISL in solely the sixth minute of the sport however the house aspect egged on by a vociferous crowd of greater than 35,000, hit again with two objectives from their new signing Ogbeche to start their marketing campaign on a profitable notice. Ogbeche struck in the 30th (by means of a penalty) and 45th minutes in entrance of a packed house crowd on the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium.

The consequence noticed Kerala get the higher of ATK in their ISL opener as soon as once more, having recorded a 2-Zero win final season in Kolkata.

The sport received off to an electrifying begin with the guests gorgeous the packed crowd early in the sport. ATK capitalised on a free-kick given for a foul on Jayesh Rane by Jeakson Singh. The set-piece into the field was cushioned again for McHugh by Agustin Garcia Iniguez on the far put up. The Irishman went on to slam a superb first-time volley along with his left foot that gave Bilal Khan in the Kerala purpose no probability in any way.

With the wind in their sails from an early purpose, ATK continued to press Kerala relentlessly and created a number of probabilities to double their lead, one of the best of which got here in the 22nd minute. Roy Krishna launched into a scorching run from the midfield, going previous a few Kerala defenders into the field, however opted to slip it for Javier Hernandez relatively than shoot himself and the ball trickled away.

A rattled Kerala had been handed a lifeline into the sport when ATK winger Michael Soosairaj went down in the field beneath Sergio Cidoncha’s problem. But the referee waved away the protests and Kerala gained a nook from the following counter-attack. That set-piece would produce the equaliser for Kerala. Ogbeche noticed his looping header from the far put up come again off the upright, just for Pronay Halder to drag down Jairo Rodriguez who was about to fit it in. The referee awarded the spot-kick and Ogbeche made no mistake in beating Arindam Bhattacharya to carry the spirits of the house supporters.

The Men in Yellow began to take pleasure in extra time on the ball following the equaliser and stormed into the lead simply earlier than half-time. Pronay didn’t clear a low cross from Prasanth Karuthadathkuni and the unfastened ball was pushed in well by a lurking Ogbeche.

Kerala continued their ascendancy in the beginning of the second half as nicely, protecting the ball nicely and forcing errors from ATK. However, Krishna continued to threaten the Kerala defence, though his ending let the guests down. In the 69th minute, the Fijian was despatched by means of on purpose however a sliding sort out from Jairo meant the possibility went begging.

Shortly after, Krishna noticed one other shot from shut vary blocked away by substitute Mario Arques. But Eelco Schattorie’s house aspect held their nerves and created just a few probabilities of their very own. Ultimately, they noticed off the sport fairly comfortably to begin their marketing campaign on a profitable notice.

Earlier, FDSL chairperson Nita Ambani declared the start of the season in the presence of ATK co-owner and BCCI president-elect Sourav Ganguly. Bollywood stars Tiger Shroff and Disha Patani carried out in the opening ceremony together with the internationally acclaimed Indian dance group Kings United simply earlier than the beginning of the match.

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