Hero ISL 2021-22 in numbers: More goals and goalscorers, higher passing accuracy headline entertaining season

The Hero Indian Super League (ISL) 2021-22 season had drama from minute one to last. A six-goal thriller between ATK Mohun Bagan and Kerala Blasters FC set the tone for the campaign in which it rained goals.

The final may have seen just two goals in 120 minutes, but there were chances aplenty as Hyderabad FC and Kerala Blasters FC took turns to attack each other’s goal in an end-to-end contest that kept the fans both in the stadium and those watching on TV sets on the edge of their seats.

The first and the very last match of the season showed the team’s inclination for having a go at their opponents. There was little holding back as teams stepped out to outscore the opponent in a bid to win a match of football.

The numbers clearly reflect that approach as the season ended with a total of 354 goals being scored which is a Hero ISL record. The 2021-22 campaign saw 56 more goals scored than the 2020-21 season, an upturn by 19%.

The 2021-22 campaign was the second-most prolific Hero ISL season ever, just behind the 2018-19 campaign that saw a marginally higher number of goals scored per match.

Metrics

2021-22

2020-21

2019-20

2018-19

2017-18

2016

2015

2014

Matches

115

115

95

95

95

61

61

61

Goals

354

298

294

254

261

145

186

129

Goals Per Match

3.08

2.59

3.09

2.67

2.75

2.38

3.05

2.11

Minutes per Goal

29.34

34.73

29.08

33.66

32.76

37.86

29.52

42.56

But in contrast to the 2018-19 season, in the Hero ISL 2021-22 season, the goals weren’t concentrated among a few elite goalscorers. The goals were distributed across more players as teams found multiple sources of goals.

The prime example was the final. Both Rahul KP and Sahil Tavora scored their first goals of the season in the very last match of the campaign. Often on the fringes in their respective teams, the duo struck when it mattered most.

It is a good sign for the future of Indian football that more and more players are finding the back of the net as one goal can lead to many in seasons to come.

Here are number of unique goalscorers in the Hero ISL this season.

Season

Foreigners

Indians

2014

44

20

2015

49

20

2016

44

21

2017-18

57

31

2018-19

55

41

2019-20

57

43

2020-21

56

39

2021-22

56

61

The hearteneing fact is that the number of foreign goalscorers have remained the same from last season but there has been an increase of 56% in the number of Indian goalscorers. 

The rise was expected since an extra Indian player was on the pitch for every team this season, but such an increase shows that it's not just down to the increased number of Indians on the pitch but also an improved ability to find the back of the net.

One of the key reasons behind the increase in goals could also be an improvement in the team’s ability to keep possession of the ball better this season. The 2021-22 season didn’t just see teams complete more passes than ever in Hero ISL history, the recently concluded campaign also had the second-best passing accuracy numbers in Hero ISL history.

Metrics

2021-22

2020-21

2019-20

2018-19

2017-18

2016

2015

2014

Passes

83721

88584

72022

78989

81434

47270

48451

49448

Passes Completed

61342

59357

50082

55678

56209

32931

36218

35816

Passing Accuracy

73.26%

67%

69.54%

70.49%

69.02%

69.67%

74.75%

72.43%

Considering there were more Indians involved in every team this season than in the 2015 campaign that boasts the best passing accuracy across the league, it is a sign of progress the Indian players have made since then. The credit must also go to the coaches that have encouraged teams to play with the ball and also get Indian players up to speed with the trend.

The Hero ISL in the 2022-23 season will hope to further improve on these numbers as teams work ever so hard in improving their teams.

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