KOLKATA, Sept 29: Former champions ATK suffered a 0-2 defeat to two-time runners-up Kerala Blasters in the opening match of the fifth Indian Super League (ISL) at the Saltlake Stadium here Saturday.
Matej Poplatnik and Slavisia Stojanovic scored in the second half as Kerala scored only their second win over the Kolkata franchise, and first since the 2014 edition.
After enduring a nightmarish ninth place finish in the last season, ATK might have overhauled the squad roping in a trusted coach in Steve Coppell but their fate remained unchanged as they struggled to keep pace with the Kerala Blasters.
The David James-coached outfit looked in their elements right from the start with Slovenian Poplatnik continuously raiding ATK�s box before he broke the deadlock in the 77th minute.
Earlier Indian athletics golden girl Hima Das presented the ceremonial match ball to kick off the fifth season of the top-tier league. � PTI