KOLKATA, India (AP) — Atletico de Kolkata earned a convincing 3-0 victory over Mumbai City in the inaugural match of the Indian Super League, which began with an impressive opening ceremony on Sunday.
Ethiopian striker Fikru Teferra put the hosts ahead in the 27th minute from the top of the penalty area, with Spanish duo Borja Fernandez and Arnal Llibert adding goals in the 69th and 90th to ensure an easy win.
The Kolkata team, which is partly owned by Atletico Madrid and has several Spanish players, dominated the match throughout and could have scored more goals but for some good goalkeeping by Mumbai s Subrata Paul.
Mumbai failed to impress in the absence of Swedish midfielder Freddie Ljungberg, who missed the match due to a calf injury, and French striker Nicolas Anelka, who is serving a ban for a controversial goal celebration in 2013.
Earlier, the ISL saw a colorful start with a grand opening ceremony attended by several Indian cricket and film stars, some of whom have stakes in different teams.
The ISL is particularly depending on cricket stars to help market the tournament.
India cricket captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni part owns Chennaiyan, retired superstar Sachin Tendulkar co-owns Kerala Blasters, and former captain Sourav Ganguly and batsman Virat Kohli have stakes in Atletico de Kolkata and Goa.
Mumbai, Pune, Delhi and North East United are the other sides in the eight-team league, organized by IMG-Reliance in collaboration with Rupert Murdoch s Star India group and the All India Football Federation.
The ISL, which will see veteran stars like Alessandro Del Piero, Robert Pires, Luis Garcia, and David Trezeguet in action, faces a tough challenge as it has to compete with European league matches that are beamed live across the country on satellite channels.
The tournament, which has raised expectations of single-handedly raising the standard of football in this country of 1.2 billion that is 158th in FIFA rankings, also has to contend with several franchise-based leagues run in India including in cricket, field hockey and kabaddi.Best of Yahoo NewsstoryWhat ebola fight can learn from poliostoryIs there a ghost at Dudley Castle?story'Garfi' is the new Grumpy Catstory'Floating cycle path' build on Thames?storyTeen's dizzying London skyscraper picsstoryCar covered entirely in human hair