Looking back at when Salt Lake Stadium hosted ISL opener

Salt Lake Stadium has been no stranger and has witnessed many iconic matches in the history of ISL.

The stage was set for the grand finale as the Salt Lake Stadium in Kolkata was in full swing to host the Indian Super League (ISL) 2023-24’s ultimate match. This wasn’t the first time the iconic stadium, also known by the name of   Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan, was the place to be where it hogged all the limelight and was the center-stage of Indian football as a whole and indeed for ISL. But this time, it held a special significance as the home ground of Mohun Bagan, one of the finalists and an Iconic institutions itself and thus the stage was set for a battle as sweet as the roshgulla and as spicy as Fish Curry.

ISL Final preview: Can Mumbai City FC crush Mohun Bagan's treble dreams?
Credit - ISL Official

It is worth noting that Salt Lake Stadium has a history of hosting iconic matches. Poetically, it was also responsible for hosting the first ISL match of the inaugural edition which ended up capturing the imagination of the world especially Indian Football fans who had never seen anything else quite like that before. On a  pleasant 12 October evening about a decade ago, history was being written  at the Salt Lake Stadium in Kolkata as it played host to the opening match of the Indian Super League (ISL). This highly awaited event ushered in a new era for Indian football, bringing together big name international stars alongside giving such a huge platform to budding domestic talent.

Salt Lake Stadium - Wikipedia
Credit - ISL Official

With a capacity to hold over 85,000 spectators, Salt Lake Stadium was mote than up to the task of being the host fitting of an historic eve t such as ISL's first evert fixture ready to host a new era of footballing possibilities .The anticipation was intense as Kolkata, who are famous for their love of football and having witnessed many greats who go on to become legends were buzzing with the prospects of the now giants of ISL. Atlético de Kolkata(Now MBSG) and Mumbai City FC clashing against each other not knowing what is in store for either of them.

ISL :Atletico de Kolkata Sink Mumbai City 3-0
Credit - ISL Official

The atmosphere was filled  with excitement as passionate supporters thronged to the stadium. As the sun set and the floodlights illuminated the arena that was every inch football crazy. Salt Lake was ready to roar like The Bengal Tiger, the atmosphere vibrated with an energy never ever felt within the Indian Footballing landscape ever before. It wasn’t just a football match; a new chapter for the sport in India was being written by those 22 men out on the pitch that fateful day.

Credits- ISL Official

The match itself was a box office affair, energetic with drama and excitement. The players ensured that the game was as electric as the atmosphere and showed us their skills putting on a display of physically prowess as well as technical excellence with a pinch of passion, determination and grit. Every pass, every tackle, and every goal that day was meet with rousing applause and the party seemed like that it would never end.

Credits- Athletico.Madrid Official

At the end, Atlético de Kolkata emerged victorious, etching their name in the records of ISL history with a 3-0 win over Mumbai City FC. Looking back, the significance of that historic day cannot be overstated. It marked the beginning of a new chapter in Indian football, one filled with promise and potential. The ISL has since grown a lot, attracting top talent from around the world and captivating audiences both at home and abroad.

Salt Lake Stadium, with its rich history and storied legacy, served as the perfect stage for such a huge occasion. It  has stood the test of time as a symbol of India’s footballing prowess. And come 4 May, it came and up went Mumbai City into the record books as the Champions of ISL 23-24 lifting the silverware of the now decade old club competition at one of the most iconic stadiums in world football at the expense of the host MBSG who gave them a tough fight till Mumbai took the lead and ran away with it.

Cover Credits - ISL Official

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