The second edition of Hero Indian Super League began with defending champions Atletico de Kolkata defeating Chennaiyin FC at the Marina Arena, as strikers from both sides punished their opponent’s fault.
The game had a nervy beginning but as the match progressed both the sides settled and had a nice flow to the game. Chennaiyin FC were the quicker to settle among the two teams, but Atleticoa s marquee player Helder Postiga scored against the run of play to open the scoring for the 2015 edition of ISL.
The home team were first to ask any real question on the 10th minute when Lalhmangaihsanga Sena Ralte’s whipped cross found Fikru, who could only chip it past the second post.
Chennaiyin FC conceded few unecessary freekicks early in the game and were punished on 13th minute, when Borjaa s sent his freekick deep in the box creating a confusion. Edel Apoula rushed out and collided with the back tracking Mailson, leaving Postiga with an easy tap in from 3 yards out.
Atletico de Kolkata werena t doing much better either, as Arnab Mondal was caught ball watching on the 16th minute when Elanoa s through ball found Fikru in acres of space, who would now be regretting it after having put it wide.
Chennaiyin FC, though, didn’t have to wait long for the equaliser, as Elano, on the 30th minute, found Fikru with a ball over the top. Amrinder Singh rushed out to stop Fikru but instead was hit by the ball and was in no mana s land when Jeje put the deflected ball in the net.
Chennaiyin FC were forced to make an substitution during the half time after Mailson fell awkwardly just before the half time whistle. Mendy, who had a shocker of a game, replaced Mailson during the half time.
ATK made a bright start to the second half as Iain Hume, who played in the cross for ATKa s third goal, found more time and space in the second half.
But it was the replacement Mendy, whose back header in the 70th minute, went straight to Postiga, who coolly slotted it home, but injured himself in the process. ATK management will have some worrying concerns ahead to the next game, but Valdo eased some concern after he came on to replace Postiga.
Valdo scored the third goal from Humea s cross for ATK within minutes after coming on and almost killed the game. Javi Lara had the opportunity to settle the match from the spot after Bernard Mendy handled the ball inside the box. Edel, who also was having a poor game by his standard, saved the spot kick to help Chennaiyin gain some momentum.
Chennaiyin were lucky to be given a handball after the linesman pointed towards the spot for handball, though, replay suggest it struck Arnaba s chest. Elano kept his cool as he slotted home the resulting penalty. The last few moments were tense, but ATK managed to hold on the result and begin their season with a victory. Chennaiyin will now have to forget the defeat as they look to challenge for the title.