Monday, Dec 11, 2017 | Last Update : 08:56 PM IST

ISL Season 4: Blasters hold ATK in opener

THE ASIAN AGE. | ARUN GEORGE
Published : Nov 18, 2017, 1:04 am IST
Updated : Nov 18, 2017, 1:06 am IST

Sharma gave a good account of his prodigious talent, both on and off the ball.

Action from the Indian Super League opener between Kerala Blasters and ATK in Kochi. (Photo: Sunoj Ninan Mathew)
 Action from the Indian Super League opener between Kerala Blasters and ATK in Kochi. (Photo: Sunoj Ninan Mathew)

Kochi: Bollywood glamour overshadowed a tepid game of football as Kerala Blasters and champions ATK played out a goalless draw in the ISL-4 opener at Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium here on Friday.

For once a macho Salman Khan had more stepovers than a profusion of talented footballers put together and one might wonder if the two most talked about sides in the field were still in pre-season.

Fans had more than a glimpse of Bulgarian superstar Dimitar Berbatov, who started and completed 90 minutes, and so nearly made his debut memorable only to be denied by a timely low save from Debjit Majumder late in the game.

Kerala head coach Rene Meulensteen and counterpart Teddy Sheringham had claimed pre-match that the idea of increasing the quota of Indian players in a playing XI was progressive for the league, but the duo, also making their ISL debuts as managers, had a first-hand feel of the incongruity that was to find the right man for the right position.

Meulensteen’s dilemma was to find a role for Arata Izumi and his central-midfield pairing with Milan Singh was not a smooth transition from the Mehtab Hossain days.

For the visitors, who had lifted their second title here last December the inclusion of Hitesh Sharma gave a fresh outlook to their counter-attacking game.

Sharma gave a good account of his prodigious talent, both on and off the ball.

Tags: kerala blasters, isl season 4, dimitar berbatov