Atletico de Kolkata trump Kerala Blasters 1-0 to become ISL champions

  • IANS, Mumbai
  • Updated: Dec 21, 2014 15:24 IST

Atletico de Kolkata defeated Kerala Blasters FC 1-0 in the final to lift the Indian Super League (ISL) football trophy at the DY Patil stadium Saturday.

A last gasp goal from forward Mohammed Rafique helped the Sourav Ganguly part-owned franchise clinch the inaugural edition of the tournament.

Tendulkar, who co-owns Kerala Blasters, and Ganguly, co-owner of Atletico de Kolkata, seemed optimistic about the future of football in the country as they spoke during half-time of the ISL final between the two sides.

"ISL has got a terrific response, big thank you to all those who supported the tournament. It's a new platform for both of us," Tendulkar said.

Ganguly said: "Though we are in different teams, we are together for the game of football. ISL has been very competitive." Tendulkar said schools should take the initiative of encouraging children to take up sport at a young age.

"It should start at grassroot level. Schools should encourage kids to take up sports at grassroots. I am not saying that all of them should become sportspersons but we can become a healthier nation this way. The idea is to identify talent," the batting legend said.

Asked about the inaugural edition of ISL, Ganguly said it has been a tremendous success.

"Even though it's a neutral venue, almost 65,000 people are turning up despite the fact that Mumbai is not playing in the final. It's been a tremendous success. Everyone, from EPL managers to Atletico Madrid, sat and took notice of ISL," he said.

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