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Kerala Blasters’ semifinal hero Sandip Nandy wants ISL trophy for fans

Kerala Blasters' goalkeeper wants to win the all-important trophy to give their massive support base something to cheer about in three years.

By: PTI | Kochi |
December 17, 2016 10:01:49 pm
Sandip Nandy, Nandy, Kerala Blasters vs Atletico de Kolkata, Atletico de Kolkata vs Kerala Blasters, Nandy, ISL Final, ISL 2016, Football news, Football Sandip Nandy saved all the three penalties against Delhi Dynamos in the second-leg semifinal. (Source: ISL)

Kerala Blasters’ goalkeeper and semifinal hero Sandip Nandy wants to shut out the opposition for one final time and win Indian Super League trophy for the first time by beating Atletico de Kolkata in front of passionate fans at Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium on Sunday.

Nandy saved all the three penalties against Delhi Dynamos in the second-leg semifinal in his side’s away match on December 14 to take his team to the final. He now wants to win the all-important trophy to give their massive support base something to cheer about in three years.

LIVE ISL 2016 Final: Kerala Blasters vs Atletico de Kolkata

“I’ve enjoyed playing in ISL with Kerala Blasters. I think they are the most beautiful fans. We are lucky to have such a great atmosphere. We are playing final in front of our home crowd. It will be tough against Atletico de Kolkata but we are ready to fight.

“In three years, we couldn’t give anything to our fans. Last season we did not win a single match at home and this year we have won most of our matches. Kerala fans deserve the trophy,” said Nandy at a media interaction ahead of the summit showdown.

Sunday’s final is a repeat of the inaugural edition when both these teams met in the title clash, only for ATK to snatch the trophy at the fag end of the match. It was heartbreaking for Kerala and Nandy, who has been with Kerala Blasters since the first season.

“We won’t get such a chance again to play final in front of our fans. We must give our 200 per cent and win the trophy,” said 41-year-old who has played for India in 16 matches between 2004 and 2013.

While the huge support for Kerala Blasters in Kochi will work to their advantage in the final, ATK are also looking forward to the clash. The supporters will be cheering for Kerala but according to ATK players Jewel Raja Shaikh and Abinash Ruidas, they will be motivated as well.

“Nobody wants to play in front of an empty stadium. Whether they are supporting us or them doesn’t matter. Just the atmosphere of a packed stadium will bring the best out of us,” said ATK midfielder Jewel Raja.

Ruidas, playing his first season in ISL, said he has done well with his team so far and won’t get overawed with the packed-stadium since he was used to big crowd in Kolkata derbies between Mohun Bagan and East Bengal.

“The crowd (cheering Kerala) won’t be a problem. It’s the same experience like in a derby,” said Ruidas.

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