KER : Deeraj, Lalruatthara, Sandesh, Pesic, Rakib, Holicharan, Krcmaravic, Samad, Doungel, Slavisa, Poplatnik.
MCFC : Amrinder, Subhasish, Souvik, Lucian, Souvik Chakraborty, Sougou, Issoko, Shehnaj, Raynier, Bastos, Paulo.

KERALA BLASTERS FC <b><font color=red> 1-1 </b></font> MUMBAI CITY FC


Man of the Match - Sandesh Jhingan
Club Award : Kerala Blasters FC & Mumbai City FC
Limitless Player : Pranjal Bhumij - Mumbai City FC
Winning pass of the match : Seiminlen Doungel - Kerala Blasters FC
Emerging player - Dheeraj Singh (GK- KBFC)

Last-gasp Bhumij rescues a point for Mumbai City
ISL PRESS RELEASE : Kerala Blasters were held to a 1-1 draw at home in the Hero Indian Super League (ISL) by Mumbai City FC at the Jawaharlal Nehru International stadium in Kochi on Friday. Halicharan Narzary’s 24th minute strike looked to have put the Blasters on course for all three points but Pranjal Bhumij came up with a long-range stunner in stoppage time to rescue a point for the Islanders.

Having beaten ATK away from home in their opening match, David James named an unchanged XI for the clash with Matej Poplatnik and Slavisa Stojanovic continuing to lead the line up top. Jorge Costa, on the other hand, made as many as four changes to the side which lost to Jamshedpur FC with Raynier Fernandes, Sehnaj Singh, Arnold Issoko and Shouvik Ghosh being drafted into the playing XI.

Kerala Blasters began well with an excellent low cross by Seiminlen Doungel from the left-flank in the third minute found Halicharan Narzary’s run into the box from the right but Mumbai custodian Amrinder Singh placed himself well to deny the Kerala winger.

The hosts continued to threaten the Mumbai goal with their two wingers looking particularly lively and they got a deserved lead in the 24th minute. A brilliant back-heeled pass by Krcmarevic released Doungel into the box and the right-winger cut the ball back to an unmarked Narzary. The left-winger took a touch to set himself up before slamming a fierce left-footed shot which beat Amrinder at his near post.

The visitors were camped in their own-half for much of the first-half with Poplatnik causing them all sorts of problems with his movement. With their attack isolated, Costa’s men failed to create any clear-cut chances as the Blasters took a one-goal lead into the interval. James’ men maintained their supremacy at the start of the second period with Doungel blasting one wide over the bar after being set up by Lalruatthara.

The Islanders grew into the game slowly with Issoko particularly enterprising on the right flank. But an off-colour Rafael Bastos did not help their cause as moves broke down in the final third. Issoko found himself in some space in the box towards the hour-mark after being released by Raynier Fernandes but the Congolese’s shot failed to trouble Dheeraj Singh in goal.

Costa hooked Paulo Machado to bring on Matias Mirabaje in a bid to find a creative spark as Kerala looked to Keziron Kizito and Courage Pekuson to shore up things. Mirabaje did add some impetus to Mumbai’s attacks after coming on but clear openings continued to evade the visitors. It was the hosts who continued to look the more effective side with Keziron looking particularly threatening on the break.

Stojanovic should have doubled the Blasters’ lead in the dying minutes after finding acres of space in the Mumbai box following a cross from Pekuson. However, the Serbian forward failed to get a clear connection to the ball after taking a wild swing. At the other end, Dheeraj Singh’s failure to deflect a high ball meant Moudou Sougou had the goal at his mercy. But his shot on the turn went wide.

Kerala’s wastefulness came back to bite them in added time with 19-year-old Mumbai substitute Pranjal Bhumij scoring an early contender for the goal of the season with a sensational strike from distance that gave a fully outstretched Dheeraj no chance and rescued a point for Mumbai City.

29.09.2018 : ATK 0-2 KERALA BLASTERS (FT)
Man of the Match - Matej Poplatnik (KBFC)
Club Award - Kerala Blasters FC
Limitless Player - Jayesh Rane (ATK)
Winning pass of the match - Halicharan Narzary (KBFC)
Emerging player - Dheeraj Singh (GK- KBFC)

ATK <b><font color=red> 0-2 </b></font> KERALA BLASTERS (FT)

ATK : Arindam, Airborlang, Johnson, Gerson, Ralte, Noussair, Lanzarote, Jayesh, Pronay, Balwant, Everton.
KBFC : Dheeraj, Pesic, Rakip, Sandesh, Lalruathara, Samad, Holicharan, Doungel, Nikola, Matej, Slavisa.

90': 2 minutes added time
88': REPLACEMENT KBFC: Matej out, Kizito in
86': GOOOOOOAAAAALLLLLL ..2-0 to LERALA BLASTERS.. Kerala blasters increased the lead, Slavisa beat Gerson and placed the ball at the far corner of the net.
82': Pekuson's shot saved by Arindam partially and Johnson cleared the ball out of the danger zone
80': REPLACEMENT ATK: Cavin in, Jayesh out
76': GOOOOOOAAAAALLLLLL .. 1-0 to LERALA BLASTERS...Kerala Blasters scored. Slavisa's shot defected of Gerson as Matej utising the opportunity and beat Arindam with a perfect header
ATK <b><font color=red> 0-2 </b></font> KERALA BLASTERS (FT)

74': REPLACEMENT ATK: Balwant out, Lyndoh in
73': REPLACEMENT ATK: Kalu in, Noussair out
70': REPLACEMENT KBFC: Vineeth in, Doungel out
69': A good effort by Sandesh, his header from a free kick of Matej missed the target
67': Pekuson's left footed shot from age of the 18 yards went out
64': A cross pass from the left by Jayesh, but Balwant was a bit slow to react
60': Scores are level, both the teams are playing passing football
51': A cross pass from the right by Aibor, but Dheeraj was alert enough to tackle the situation
46': REPLACEMENT KBFC: Pekuson in, Sahal out
46': Second session starts, ATK kicks off
45': 1 minute added time
38': Jayesh's header os a corner from Noussair missed the target
35': Pranay's effort of a pass from Balwant saved by Dheeraj
32'; Sahal's low shot from outside the 18 yards saved by Arindam
25': Everton's powerful long ranger sailed over the bar
19': YELLOW CARD to Noussair of ATK
18': Doungel's header of a cross pass from Holicharan missed the target
15': DHEERAJ SINGH (GK-KBFC).....the youngest footballer ever, playing in the history of ISL..
14': Chance for ATK, Lanzarote shot from the corner hit the cross bar
11': ATK survived again as Raltey saved a header of Pesic from the goal line
8': Matej'a powerful shot blocked by Gerson, ATK survived
3': Chance for KBFC, Matej header missed the target of a cross pass from Lalruathara from the left
0': Match started, KBFC kicks off

KFC NEWS DESK: Two times champions ATK will going to face Kerala Blasters FC in the inargual match of the fifth edition of Indian Super League at Vivekananda Kriangan, Kolkata. ATK and Kerala Blasters, both had a torrid time in the last edition as Kolkata team finished nineth in a ten team competition. While Kerala Blasters finished sixth after having an unimpressive start.

ATK had an impressive record over Kerala Blasters, won five out of the six matches they played, Kerala Blasters managed to win a single match. ATK are confident for a smooth start and to regain their supremacy. The Kolkata team will going to start the season with several new recruits, many of them established performers in the ISL in the past. ATK included foreign players like Kalu Uche, Everton Santos, Gerson Vieira and Manuel Lanzarote. The team is now managed by a new coach Steve Coppell, who took Kerala Blasters to the final in 2016 and lost against ATK.

In the pre match press conference at Kolkata Steve Coppell said, "For the last two years, I might not have had those players that could give that something extra in the final third. This time we have Lanzarote, Everton, Kalu and Balwant who could do that with the ball. I will do my best to create them opportunities but it is all about balance in the team.”

ATK will miss the services of Kalu Uche as the Nigerian is yet to arrive in Kolkata, pending Visa, while their India recruit Arnab Mondal has been replaced by Sandeep Singh. Arnab will be out of action for 4 to 6 weeks due to knee ligament strain. Coppell is hoping that Andre Bikey will be fit before the match.

The former Liverpool goalkeeper David James is associated with Kerala Blasters since long. He played against ATK in some of the important matches and now will be in the dugout on Saturday evening. While answering to a question David James said, “Rivalry between Kerala and ATK is the biggest in ISL. Both teams have played two finals, close ones at that. Of course, ATK have the upperhand when it comes to dominance. Also, the fixture will have the biggest attendance figures in the league stage. The recruitment was important. We can get best players who are not particularly great people. We have recruited good players who were great for the team. I think the bonding over the pre-season has been very good.”

The opening game will see Kerala miss the services of India defender Anas Edathodika who is serving a three-match ban.Ugandan star Keziron Kizito and Ghanaian winger Courage Pekuson will be expected to provide support to the strikers. The match will kick off at 7.30 PM.