KOCHI: One loss does not a series make. Or two. The undefeatable spirit of Kerala Blasters fans was out on display at the Jawaharlal Nehru stadium on Sunday, despite their team’s 3-0 loss to FC Goa in an away match last Wednesday.
The 61,323 football lovers who packed the stadium created a record for the ISL series, outclassing the previous best of 57,000 during the match against Atletico de Kolkata on Nov. 21.
The youth flowed in their thousands from near and far from afternoon onwards. And it being a Sunday, there were many families, too. The flow did not stop even after the match started, and the late-comers stood at the rear of the stands and cheered their team.
The Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium roared every time the players of Kerala Blasters advanced with the ball to the rival’s area, only to subside when the moves failed to test the goalkeeper of the opposite team.
However, the crowd dotted with yellow T-shirts in the galleries and chairs unleashed a flurry of Mexican waves to send out the message to the country that Kochi remains the seat of football. Deafening drum beats also filled the stadium, turning the event into a carnival.
However, in the end the spectators were disappointed as Kerala Blasters were defeated by 1-0, and the galleries emptied in silence.
The star attraction in the stadium was the actor couple Abhishek Bachchan and Aiswarya Rai who came over to support their team Chennaiyin FC amid heavy security. Kerala Blasters owner Sachin Tendulkar, however, did not turn up.
The Kochi Police also scored a goal. Deployed in sufficient numbers, they ensured that the huge flow of football fans amid the ongoing works of the Kochi Metro did not affect the traffic....