Atletico de Kolkata lifted the inaugural Indian Super League trophy, courtesy an injury time goal by substitute Mohammed Rafique which powered the Sourav Ganguly co-owned side to a 1-0 win over Kerala Blasters FC in the final on Saturday.
After 90 minutes of exhilarating football it was Rafique’s brilliant header which broke the deadlock in what was his first goal in the tournament. The goal sent the Kolkata camp on jubilant celebrations led by from co-owner Sourav Ganguly, who removed his t-shirt from the stands.
It was heart break for Kerala Blasters FC, who despite of dominating the proceedings for most part of the match, lost out because of poor finishing.
The finale got off to a spectacular start with an amalgation of music, lights, acrobatics and stunts. Breathtaking fireworks lit up the sky at the Navi Mumbai’s DY Patil Stadium and brought the curtains down on the 20-minute high-voltage extravaganza that left the capacity crowd and host of celebrities mesmerised.
The ceremony featured hundred snare drummers who struck a rhythm with the 50 freestyle footballers demostrating well orchestrated moves in presence of a Kerala Blasters owner Sachin Tendulkar, ATK co-owner Sourav Ganguly, ISL chairperson Nita Ambani and a galaxy of Bollywood stars.
Apart from that, fifty Chinese acrobats clad in blue outfits enthralled the audience with their skills before a giant remote-controlled football was flown across the stadium.
The end of the closing ceremony marked the beginning of of what was an exhilarating display of football.