Hero ISL Records: En Route to 500
Since the advent of the Hero Indian Super League (ISL) in 2014, the Indian football scene has seen a revolutionary change, both nationally and internationally. Currently in its fourth and biggest season ever, the 2017-18 season has already grabbed eyeballs with the introduction of two new teams - Bengaluru FC and Jamshedpur FC, and a format spread over four months.
One of the most entertaining aspects of the league has been the plethora of goals converted over the four years of its existence. As the league added a new feather to its resplendent crown when the 500th goal was scored on 2nd December 2017, we look back at all the milestone goals witnessed by the Hero ISL viewers over the years.
1st Goal: The Directory Opens
Scorer: Fikru Teferra Lemessa
(Match 1, 2014: ATK 3-0 Mumbai City FC)
On a historic night for Indian football, when the first Hero ISL match was played at the Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan in Kolkata on 12th October 2014, it was the home team, ATK who registered the first goal of the league against Mumbai City FC. The goal scorer was the prolific Fikru Teferra Lemessa who scored a cheeky chip over goalkeeper, Subrata Paul from a Joffre Gonzalez assist. ATK thereafter, went on to become the inaugural title holders of the Hero ISL.
50th Goal: Golden Jubilee Attained
Scorer: Luis Garcia
(Match 21, 2014: Chennaiyin FC 1-1 ATK)
The credit for the 50th goal of the Hero ISL also rests with ATK and their marquee player for the inaugural season, Luis Garcia, against Chennaiyin FC. Chennai’s goalkeeper Shilton Paul fouled Mohammed Rafi inside the box and was sent off after being shown a straight red card. Garcia geared up to take the resultant penalty, and finished with a calm and composed spot-kick towards the bottom right corner.
100th Goal: And That’s a Century!
Scorer: Romeo Fernandes
(Match 46, 2014: FC Goa 3-0 NorthEast United FC)
The century was brought up by Romeo Fernandes for FC Goa, in a home match against NorthEast United FC. After playing a nice one-two with fellow teammate, Miroslav Slepicka, Romeo calmly slid the ball pass NorthEast’s custodian, Rehenesh TP to finish with a flourish. This marked the beginning of greater milestones to come in the future.
200th Goal: A Double-Century Accomplished
Scorer: Iain Hume
(Match 27, 2015: Mumbai City FC 1-4 ATK)
The double-century milestone came on the back of none other than Hero ISL’s highest goal scorer, Iain Hume. In the second edition, while plying his trade for ATK, Hume blew Mumbai away with a fantastic hat-trick, bringing along with it another mega milestone to his name at the DY Patil Stadium in Navi Mumbai.
300th Goal: Goals Came ‘Tripling’ Down
Scorer: Joffre Gonzalez
(Match 56, 2015: Delhi Dynamos FC 2-3 FC Goa)
In the final league encounter of Hero ISL 2015 at Delhi, FC Goa edged the home side to comfortably enter the playoffs, thanks to a 90th-minute winner from Joffre Gonzalez, which completely took the steam of Delhi’s resilience. Along with the win, Joffre also ringed in another milestone for the record books. Goa went on to end the season as the first-runners up, losing in the final to Chennaiyin FC.
400th Goal: When Records Quadrupled
Scorer: Kean Lewis
(Match 42, 2016: FC Pune City 4-3 Delhi Dynamos FC)
The 400th goal milestone was rung in by Kean Lewis for Delhi Dynamos FC against FC Pune City in Hero ISL 2016. After a fantastic back-heel from Marcelinho for Emerson Moura, the latter sent a wonderful cross inside the box for Lewis to slot home past the keeper. This was the first goal of a seven-goal encounter, which eventually ended in Delhi’s first defeat against Pune.
500th Goal: The Halfway Mark of Glory
Scorer: Danilo Lopes
(Match 14, 2017: Delhi Dynamos FC 0-2 NorthEast United FC)
For such a huge milestone, the 500th goal of Hero ISL came in quite a comical manner riding on a mistake committed by Delhi Dynamo’s keeper, Albino Gomes. The goal scorer, Danilo Lopes latched onto the loose ball, which Gomes had failed to clear after a simple return pass, and reached the landmark with the easiest of finishes to double the team’s lead and enter the history books.