Cricket star Sourav Ganguly earned bragging rights over former team-mate Sachin Tendulkar as his Atletico de Kolkata won the inaugural Indian Super League football tournament in Mumbai on Saturday.
Substitute Mohammad Rafique scored the 90th minute goal to give Kolkata a 1-0 victory over Tendulkar's Kerala Blasters in the final.
A packed house of 40,000 at the D.Y. Patil stadium on the outskirts of Mumbai cheered as Rafique's header made it past former England goalkeeper David James, who is also manager of the Kerala team.
Kerala were left to rue a missed chance from close range by Michael Chopra in the 83rd minute when his shot was deflected by Kolkata's Armenian goalkeeper Apoula Edel.
Organisers and broadcasters had hyped the final as a Tendulkar vs Ganguly show to attract viewers in the cricket-mad nation. Both stars were at hand to cheer their respective teams.
Former Liverpool midfielder Luis Garcia, who did not play the final due to a hamstring injury despite being Kolkata's marquee player, said he was excited to see his new team win the title.
"I am very excited, very happy," the 36-year-old said. "To win the first tournament gives me a great feeling. The team played well and deserved to win."
The eight-team franchised-based tournament, modelled on cricket's popular Indian Premier League, was bankrolled by Rupert Murdoch's Star TV and backed by Indian billionaire Mukesh Ambani and sports management giants IMG.
Apart of Tendulkar and Ganguly, other team owners included Bollywood A-listers Ranbir Kapoor, Abhishek Bachchan and John Abraham.
The 10-week, 61-match tournament lured past greats like former Italy and Juventus striker Alessandro Del Piero, 40, ex-France and Arsenal star Robert Pires, 41, Sweden's Freddie Ljungberg, 37 and controversial Frenchman Nicolas Anelka. Brazilian great Zico was one of the coaches.
India, which currently stands at 159 out of 208 countries in the FIFA rankings, was recently described by the sport's world chief Sepp Blatter as the "sleeping giant of football".