The opening match of the ISL 2017-18 season starts with a goalless drab draw.
Final score: KBFC 0-0 ATK
90' AT LAST, Berbatov has just one shot on goal...that too with a header. But Debjit stays resilient!
87' Robin Singh trying desperately to get a goal. Hard luck for him, not happening at the moment!
85' So, Dimitar Berbatov, the most high-profile name in the pitch, has played the entire 90 minutes and has not got a single shot on goal so far. How about that?
80' KBFC change: Prasanth replaces CK Vineeth.
Courage Pekuson comes off. Indian speedstar Jackichand Singh comes on.
74' ATK change: Bipin Singh replaces Nogrum.
70' SHOT! Zequinha almost scored the first goal of the match there. His curler saw the ball striking the upright of the post and going out.
66' Figueras with a superb sliding tackle to deny Sifneos.
62' ATK sub: Robin Singh comes on for Kuqi.
60' Kerala Blasters make the first change: Sifneos comes on for Iain Hume.
56' The fans are cheering on, but Kerala Blasters still cannot find a way to get the first blood.
WHAT A SAVE! The ATK skipper's header has been saved by Rachubka.
50' A welcome change from the first half possibly. The velocity of the game has risen a notch higher.
Shot! CK Vineeth just tests Debjit Majumdar.
9:06 pm IST: BACK again for the second half!
Half time! Been a frustrating half so far. Not much action really. Both teams have been strong defensively, but truth be told, the attacking needs to get stronger, at least from Kerala Blasters.
Score: KBFC 0-0 ATK
42' Kerala Blasters are slowly piling up the pressure. Surely, they are looking for at least a goal before the half time.
35' ATK coach Teddy Sheringham continuosly shouting on his team from the sidelines, while Rene Meulensteen seems to have got pissed with the referee. He has been sent to the stands!
30' Goalless after half an hour of play. Kerala Blasters fans slowly getting frustrated with Dimitar Berbatov. What can he do now to answer his critics?
26' Kerala Blasters looks a tad unsure of the whole plot. Rene Meulensteen might have to rethink his tactics in the second half. ATK, meanwhile, are upping their ante slowly.
19' ATK's Njazi Kuqi, the lone forward, getting a shot there on goal.
16' ATK are defending well so far...as a compact unit. The likes of Vineeth and Berbatov getting no chance to get inside the box.
13' Good build-up from ATK. The Indian youngster Hitesh Sharma getting the first good shot on the goal. Rachubka just parries the ball away.
9' Corners coming to no effect for both teams. No legit shot on goal so far.
4' Milan Singh of Kerala Blasters is going for the spectacular early on, with some long shots.
8 pm IST: And we're under way...
7:55 pm IST: The players are out on the pitch and we can finally get ready to witness the match. The kick-off update coming soon!
It's a sea of yellow at the JLN Stadium Kochi right now. Watch the match here but keep your eyes for the live updates here.
7:45 pm IST: Meanwhile, looking at the ISL opening ceremony and Salman Khan's hosting:
Can we get started with the football, please?
7:35 pm IST: Sachin Tendulkar, the co-owner of Kerala Blasters and the captain Sandesh Jhingan are out in the middle. The ISL trophy, meanwhile, is brought on by Jordi Figueras, the ATK captain.
7:30 pm IST: Just 30 odd minutes left for the kick-off of the match from Kochi.
What an attacking line we have here from Kerala Blasters! Iain Hume, Dimitar Berbatov and CK Vineeth. Can only wish the best for the ATK defence tonight.
Btw, watch out for the young Hitesh Sharma, midfielder of ATK.
7:20 pm IST: As the opening ceremony goes on, we announce the lineups for this evening's cracking match!
6:56 pm IST: Just in case you're unaware, the ISL match will be preceded by a gala opening ceremony at the stadium.
Bollywood stars Salman Khan and Katrina Kaif are set to put the stage on fire!
6:50 pm IST: Welcome to a brand NEWWW season of the Indian Super League. It's a fresh start to the Indian football competition in every possible way. The three-month format is history now as the ISL 2017-18 is set to continue until March 17.
Yes, that's four months!
We couldn't have asked for a better opening match for the season than to witness a rematch of the ISL 2016 final. Kerala Blasters and ATK go head-to-head yet again...at the JLN Stadium Kochi, definitely one of the most popular football stadiums in the country.
Stay tuned with me, Sayantan, the Indian football guy of International Business Times, as I get to you all the live updates and scores from the match. The kick-off is at 8 pm IST.
P.S. Keep this page open!