The spanish franchise of Atletico de Madrid, based in Kolkata, has won the third Indian Super League edition.
They did it in the first year and they repeated it two years later, the club created in colaboration with the spanish La Liga club Atletico de Madrid, Atletico de Kolkata, conquered his second title of the ISL in three years of competition.
Molina´s team reached to the final round being the fourth team in the table at the end of the regular season. An excellent Mumbai City that finished on the top of the table, a suprising Kerala Blasters in the second position and a good Delhi Dynamos, that finished third, completed the final picture for the Champions Cup.
The spanish army had not an easy semifinal against clearly the best team during the whole regular competition: Mumbai City. However, the crash was decided in the first match in Kolkata. The result of 3-2 in favour of Molina men closed the battle, as no goals were conceed in the second match in Mumbai.
The final, played in Kerala and against the local team, was not easy at all for the Atletico franchise. At the end of the first 90 minutes, the score was 1 to 1. Rafi and Sereno were the scorers. So, at the end of all, the kicks from the penalty dot had to decide the new champions.
Hume, one of the main players for Kolkata during the competition missed the first penalty for his team, giving advantage to Kerala. However, Ouzin Ndoye and Cedric Hengbart did not score their shots and left to Jewel Raja Shaikh the chance to score the last penalty, making Atletiko de Kolkata the champions.
Dani Mallo, Tiri, Sereno, Borja Garcia, Javi Lara, Juan Belencoso and Helder Postiga were La Liga players who obtained the 2016-2017 title.
At the end of the game, the coaches said some words to the media and their supporters. On one side, Jose Francisco Molina remembered the excellent job made by his players during the current season:
“I think we are a team. That is most important. I think we did great work from the first day and we played great tonight. We lost only two matches. In some games, we could have played better but the results were enough. Finally, we reached the final and the guys played great. We were playing well. Final touches were not good. But finally, we won on penalties.”
On the other side, Steve Coppell remembered the importance of losing in the penalties:
“We didn’t lose, we tie the match. We lost the league on penalties, it’s cool and I would like to congratulate Kolkata and the game tonight was even and anybody could have won, and two very tired teams. I thought my players were fantastic and I can only compliment them on giving so much of themselves tonight and throughout the league and the Kerala fans made the occasion and on behalf of the players and the support staff I would like to say thank you to the fans and sorry that we could not bring the trophy but it was a great experience.”