Deadly duos: A look at the best attacking partnerships in Hero ISL history
The Hero Indian Super League (ISL) has witnessed some high-quality goals over the years that have been etched in the memory of the fans.
Behind these thrilling moments of brilliance have been players who have well and truly lit up the league by their silky skills and deadly finishing abilities.
As we slowly move closer to another Hero ISL season, here’s a chance to reminisce the most fruitful attacking partnerships the league has seen over the years.
These players developed an almost telepathic understanding with each other to leave defences dumbfounded on regular intervals.
Here are the best attacking partnerships to have played in the Hero ISL
Roy Krishna and David Williams (ATK FC and ATK Mohun Bagan)
One of the most talked about strike partnerships in the Hero ISL, Krishna and Williams terrorised defences during their three-year alliance first for ATK FC and later for ATK Mohun Bagan.
The partnership was at its peak in Hero ISL 2019-20 season when the duo who had 19 goals and nine assists between them led ATK FC to their third title. Krishna and Williams didn’t always play alongside each other but were so fluid on the pitch that opposition defences rarely had a clue how to stop them. Their presence on the pitch got the best out of the other as Krishna and Williams ran rings around the opponents with their clever movement and lethal finishing.
Ferran Corominas and Manuel Lanzarote (FC Goa)
The duo played together just for one season but the Corominas-Lanzarote partnership remains one of the best in Hero ISL till date. The duo scored 30 goals and provided 11 assists among them in Hero ISL 2017-18 season as FC Goa opened the floodgates under Sergio Lobera.
Lanzarote assisted Corominas five times during the season which was the most by one player to another that season. Corominas returned the favour by providing three assists to Lazarote.
Lanzarote moved to Chennaiyin FC later on but not before entertaining FC Goa fans with some cracking goals and assists with his partner-in-crime Corominas.
John Stiven Mendoza and Elano Blumer (Chennaiyin FC)
One of the first top attacking alliance on the pitch in the Hero ISL was at Chennaiyin FC where Elano and Mendoza took turns to enthrall the supporters at the Marina Arena.
Playing together for two seasons, the duo amassed 27 goals and 10 assists among themselves, taking Chennaiyin FC to a semi-final in 2014 before helping them win the title a year later. In that title-winning campaign. Elano assisted four of Mendoza’s 11 goals for the team.
The two South Americans had great understanding and always delivered when Chennaiyin FC needed it the most.
Sunil Chhetri and Miku (Bengaluru FC)
Chhetri and Miku led Bengaluru FC’s attack in their first two seasons in the Hero ISL and were one of the most explosive strike partnerships the league has ever seen.
In the two seasons, the two players scored 37 goals among them and although they didn’t set up each other on a lot of occasions, the threat each player carried helped the other to escape their respective markers and cause havoc.
It is thus no surprise that Bengaluru FC’s most prolific season in the league came when the two players led the line. The ability of these two guys to float into positions all throughout the front line made it very difficult for opponents to sustain a plan to stop them.
Ferran Corominas and Hugo Boumous (FC Goa)
The leading lights of the most prolific attack in Hero ISL history, the partnership between Corominas and Boumous for FC Goa in Hero ISL 2019-20 season was simply exhilarating.
The duo produced 25 goals and 14 assists among themselves in just a single season, contributing to 50% of FC Goa’s totally goal tally that season.
Boumous assisted Corominas seven times that season which is the highest figure between two players in a single Hero ISL season.
Both Boumous and Corominas left FC Goa after that season, bringing an end to this wonderful partnership but not before making the Gaurs the inaugural winners of the League Winners’ Shield.
Nerijus Valskis and Rafael Crivellaro (Chennaiyin FC)
Valskis and Crivellaro were at the heart of the great comeback by Chennaiyin FC under Owen Coyle in Hero ISL 2019-20 season when they went all the way to the final despite a poor start.
Valskis and Crivellaro produced 20 goals and 11 assists between them in that season with the latter assisting the former four times.
Chennaiyin FC were the joint second-highest scorers that season with 39 goals, tied with eventual champions ATK FC whom they lost to in the final.
Iain Hume and Sameehg Doutie (ATK FC)
Hume is considered one of the best strikers to have played in the Hero ISL and deservedly takes all the limelight for his performances with Kerala Blasters FC, ATK FC and later FC Pune City.
However, while playing for ATK FC which was his most fruitful spell in terms of goals scored, he had a lot to thank to South African winger Sameehg Doutie who constantly fed Hume with quality chances.
Out of Doutie’s ten assists in the Hero ISL, eight were for Hume’s goals. The duo may not have played in close proximity to each other on the pitch like the rest of the pairs in this list, but their partnership was largely fruitful for ATK FC who reached a semi-final (2015) and won the Hero ISL title (2016) in the two seasons that Hume and Doutie played for them.