Stock up your football snacks and stash as the semifinals of the ISL 2016 are over and come Sunday, December 18, the final is going to be the clash of the season. Kerala Blasters are taking on Atletico De Kolkata in the last match of the football tournament.Looking at the group stages, these two teams weren’t the torchbearers for the finale and yet here they are. This season of ISL has been a home to a lot of controversies; be it the playing conditions, the behavior of the players on-ground or the comments on other players. Two years ago when ISL was launched, Kerala Blasters lost to Atletico De Kolkata by a lone goal. The loss was heart-breaking and this time they are squaring up to take revenge in the final match in Jawaharlal Nehru stadium.
Kerala has shown tremendous determination and has played to their strengths, solid defense and a pacy counter-attack. They managed to pull a score of 2-2 against Delhi Dynamos in the aggregate which was taken to penalties where they thrashed the Delhi team 3-0. On the other hand, Atletico De Kolkata looked the stronger side against Mumbai City FC in their semi-final fixture where they became victorious with a score of 3-2. Judging by the way, both these teams have played in their respective matches, Atletico De Kolkata looked a stronger side and certainly seem to have a chance at lifting the cup.
Though it’s really hard to say anything and predict the winner before the match ends because it’s simply ineffectual. The standings have become topsy-turvy as the last season’s finalists are at the bottom of the point table. The teams that looked like they are going to fight for the trophy have been knocked out in the semis. Kerala’s opponents will be equally determined to become the first team to win the competition twice in three years. They are the only side to qualify for the playoffs for three successive years and this title will surely add a feather to their cap.
Come Sunday and the Jawaharlal Nehru stadium in Kochi will be flooded with the yellow shirts, screaming at the top of their voices and cheering for their side. It is to see if the cheers will be broken along with their hearts by the team in red & white or answered. The result will be known after the 90 minutes of gameplay. The better sight will be to witness the two cricketing legends Sachin Tendulkar supporting the Kerala Blasters and Saurav Ganguly with Atletico De Kolkata, ‘divided’ as they will try to inspire their respective teams to title.