Goal fests: A look at the top scoring matches in Hero ISL history
Football is all about goals. For teams, it means victories and for fans, it means thrill entertainment. And the Hero Indian Super League (ISL) has been one such a league that has never failed to disappoint when it comes to high-goal scoring fixtures.
Since the inception of the Hero ISL, we have witnessed plenty of high-scoring games in each season. Over the years, we have seen clubs strengthen their squad with quality additions in attack and goals have been galore.
The ongoing Hero ISL season has also thrown up a couple of edge-of-the-seat goalscoring spectacles. The recent one being Chennaiyin FC’s 7-3 win against NorthEast United FC, which will probably go down as one of the games of the season.
With that, we take a look at the top scoring matches in Hero ISL history:
Odisha FC 4-4 Kerala Blasters FC (Hero ISL 2019-20)
It was a goalscoring spree as Odisha FC and Kerala Blasters FC played out a highly entertaining draw towards the latter stages of the Hero ISL 2019-20 season.
Odisha FC’s new signing, Manuel Onwu - on loan from Bengaluru FC - led the way for his side with a hat-trick, but the Juggernauts failed to close out a win that evening as Bartholomew Ogbeche found the net in injury time.
While the Kalinga Warriors narrowly missed out on a place in the playoffs that season, finishing sixth, the Blasters ended their campaign on the seventh spot.
FC Goa 4-4 Kerala Blasters FC (Hero ISL 2021-22)
Matches between FC Goa and Kerala Blasters FC have never been short of goals and this one was no different. Both sides fought back from losing positions at different junctures in the game, but the spoils were shared in the end.
Jorge Pereyra Diaz’s early brace had put the Blasters on top but substitutes Airam Cabrera and Aiban Dohling turned the tide in the favour of the Gaurs, with Cabrera netting his first Hero ISL hat-trick. It didn’t end there as Vincy Barretto and Alvaro Vazquez scored late to save the blushes for the visitors.
While FC Goa had a campaign to forget after finishing ninth in the Hero ISL standings, Kerala Blasters witnessed contrasting fortunes, reaching the Hero ISL final for the third time in history.
FC Goa 5-4 Chennaiyin FC (Hero ISL 2016)
A young Sahil Tavora scripted the headlines back in 2016 as his last-gasp winner helped FC Goa register a thrilling comeback win in Fatorda. It was a game of many twists and turns as Chennaiyin FC took the lead three times and then found themselves training after Brazilian Rafael Coelho netted a brace for FC Goa.
More drama was to follow in the dying stages of the game as John Arne Riise converted a penalty, but substitute Tavora had other plans. The Goan midfielder received a diagonal ball, before cutting inside and curling an effort that went in off the woodwork - sealing a dramatic win.
Both sides, however, couldn’t make it to the playoffs as they finished in the bottom two of the league standings.
Kerala Blasters FC 3-6 Chennaiyin FC (Hero ISL 2019-20)
There were some stunning individual performances on display as Chennaiyin FC put six past Kerala Blasters in a nine-goal thriller. Six goals were scored in the second half as Rafael Crivellaro, Nerijus Valskis, and Lallianzuala Chhangte scored a brace each for Chennaiyin FC, while Bartholomew Ogbeche netted a hat-trick for the hosts.
Ogbeche finished the season as Kerala Blasters’ leading goalscorer, but his contributions weren’t enough as the Blasters finished seventh. Meanwhile, Chennaiyin FC had a season to remember after struggling in the lower half of the table at one stage as they reached the Hero ISL final.
Odisha FC 6-4 East Bengal FC (Hero ISL 2021-22)
Odisha FC registered a brilliant comeback win as they thumped East Bengal FC in a match that saw 10 goals being scored last season.
Braces from Hector Rodas and Aridai Cabrera helped Odisha FC come out on top as three goals were scored in injury time. Three of East Bengal FC’s four goals came after the 80th minute, but it proved too late in the end.
It was one of the many losses East Bengal FC couldn’t prevent that season as they finished at the foot of the table. Odisha, meanwhile, ended the season on the seventh spot.
NorthEast United FC 3-7 Chennaiyin FC (Hero ISL 2022-23)
In what was one of the most enticing matches of the season, Chennaiyin FC put up a brilliant attacking performance to hand NorthEast United FC a heavy defeat in Guwahati.
One of the best individual performances in #HeroISL history, as @elkhayati10's 3️⃣ Goals and 2️⃣ Assists earned him the Hero of the Match Award in #NEUCFC 🥇🔵#LetsFootball #ChennaiyinFC #ElKhayati | @ChennaiyinFC pic.twitter.com/wnXHWYDFcJ— Indian Super League (@IndSuperLeague) December 11, 2022
Midfielder Abdenasser El Khayati ran the show for Thomas Brdaric’s side, with a hand in five out of his side’s seven goals. The 33-year-old finished the match with a hat-trick and two assists, setting a new Hero ISL record for the most goal contributions in a single fixture.
Regardless of where Chennaiyin FC will finish in the Hero ISL standings this season, they won't forget this victory for a long time.
Odisha FC 6-5 East Bengal (Hero ISL 2020-21)
The Bhubaneswar-based side couldn’t help themselves from finishing at the bottom of the table in the Hero ISL 2020-21 season, but the Kalinga Warriors ensured they finished their campaign on a high after beating East Bengal FC in a breathtaking goalscoring thriller.
#OnThisDay in 2021, @OdishaFC and @sc_eastbengal put up an astonishing display of football! 🔥— Indian Super League (@IndSuperLeague) February 27, 2022
OFC 6-5 SCEB stands as the highest scoring game in the history of #HeroISL! 💥#LetsFootball #OdishaFC #SCEastBengal pic.twitter.com/NlMXoHz8ia
As many as eight out of the eleven goals were scored in the second half as Odisha FC rallied to beat East Bengal FC after a stupendous attacking performance. Both sides were already out of contention ahead of the game, but there was no shortage of entertainment as it rained goals in Bambolim.
Paul Ramfangzauva and Jerry Mawihmingthanga led from the front for Odisha FC as they scored braces. East Bengal FC fought till the end, adding two more goals after trailing by 6-3, but couldn’t overcome the deficit.