Mon, Dec 22, 2014 - Page 20 News List

Ganguly’s Atletico beats Tendulkar’s Kerala to win ISL

AFP, NEW DELHI

Cricket star Sourav Ganguly earned bragging rights over former teammate Sachin Tendulkar as his Atletico de Kolkata side won the inaugural Indian Super League (ISL) in Mumbai on Saturday.

Substitute Mohammad Rafique scored a 90th-minute goal to give Kolkata a 1-0 victory over Tendulkar’s Kerala Blasters in the final of the nascent soccer event.

A packed house of 40,000 at the D.Y. Patil Stadium on the outskirts of Mumbai cheered as Rafique’s header made it past former England goalkeeper David James, who is also Kerala’s manager.

Kerala were left to rue a missed chance from close range by Michael Chopra in the 83rd minute when his shot was deflected by Kolkata goalkeeper Apoula Edel.

Organizers and broadcasters had hyped the final as Tendulkar vs Ganguly to attract viewers in the cricket-mad nation. Both stars were at hand to cheer their respective teams.

Former Liverpool midfielder Luis Garcia did not play the final due to a hamstring injury, but said he was excited to see his new team win the title.

“To win the first tournament gives me a great feeling,” the 36-year-old said.

The eight-team franchise-based tournament was bankrolled by Rupert Murdoch’s Star TV, and backed by Indian billionaire Mukesh Ambani and sports management giants IMG.

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