Bartholomew Obgeche proved his worth in his very first outing for the Kerala blasters as the Nigeria international found the back of the net twice in the opening game of ISL 2019 to guide the men in yellow to a hard fought win against Atletico de Kolkata.
Obgeche had featured for the North East United in ISL 2018 and was one of their top performers with 12 goals in 18 games. And, he seems to have started from where he left last season.
The start of the game wasn’t that great for the Blasters as Carl McHugh netted in the 6th minute for ATK to silence the home crowd which had turned up in huge numbers. There was an attendance of more than 30,000 spectators in the stadium and the atmosphere was absolutely electric.
The Blasters supporters didn’t have to wait for too long for the equalizer though as the home side earned a penalty in the 30th minute which was successfully put into the net by Obgeche to level the proceedings.
Obgeche put the Blasters ahead with another goal before the mid-time break as the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium erupted in joy. The hosts managed to maintain their lead in the whole of the second half thereafter as the score remained 2-1 till the referee blew the final whistle.
This is the second consecutive season where the Blasters have got the better of ATK in their opening game. They had come across ATK in their opening game in the last season as well and had beaten them 2-0 there.
The ATK head coach Antonio Habas was not a happy man at the end of the game as he thought the Blasters shouldn’t have been given the penalty that allowed them to equalize the scores.
“I think ATK were better than the opponent. It was an unfair decision to award a penalty whereas a penalty was denied for us.” Habas was quoted saying by Goal.com.