After early hiccups, Hero ISL teams finally begin to make home advantage count

Hero Indian Super League (ISL) 2022-23 season has been a special one for one special reason: the fans.

After a two-year hiatus, the fans - who are the heartbeat of football - were welcomed back into the stands. The return of the supporters added a lot of colour to the Hero ISL season which was expected to be bigger and better.

The season began in Kochi amid a sea of yellow as Kerala Blasters FC beat East Bengal FC for a perfect homecoming but after that, not many home teams, including the Blasters were able to make the most of the home advantage in the home games that followed. 

In Matchweek 1 and 2, only three games out of the ten ended in victories for the home team as the away sides emerged victorious on five occasions with two games ending in draws.

Only Kerala Blasters FC (against East Bengal FC), Mumbai City FC (against Odisha FC), and Bengaluru FC (against NorthEast United FC) secured home wins.

There was a concert that the players who were playing in front of the home fans for the first time in over two years didn’t cope with the emotions of the occasion in the most perfect manner.

However, we have seen a change in that trend Matchweek 3 onwards as teams have started to make the most of the home advantage.

In Matchweek 3 & 4, six out of the ten matches have seen the home side walk away with three points, with the away team winning on just three occasions.

Hyderabad FC and Odisha FC have been phenomenal on their own pitch, winning all games played at their home grounds. The Juggernauts have failed to win just two matches in Bhubaneswar in Hero ISL history and could build on their home form to make a genuine bid for a place in the top six this season.

ATK Mohun Bagan and Jamshedpur FC bounced back from defeats in their first home games to record their first wins on home turf and it could set the ball rolling for these teams in the season ahead.

Mumbai City FC have four points from a possible six in their two home games. Bengaluru FC who have secured just one point in three away games so far this season will also bank on their home form to get their season on course.

The players and teams may have taken a bit more time to get used to playing in front of fans once again but as the season has progressed, teams are starting to make the presence of their 12th man count. In this tight race for a place in the knockout stages, home form could be the deciding factor.

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