Football is a team sport where victories and trophies result from collective effort and teamwork. Yet, individual players often make the decisive plays that can elevate a team's success. In the Indian Super League (ISL) this season, we've witnessed several stars who have shined on crucial occasions, becoming key contributors to their team's success in pivotal moments.

Roy Krishna of Odisha FC and Mohun Bagan Super Giant’s Dimitrios Petratos exemplify this type of player. Both have won the ISL Cup previously in their careers and were central figures for the respective teams last season, helping them reach the final where Krishna's Bengaluru FC narrowly lost to Petratos' Mohun Bagan SG in a tense penalty shootout. These two formidable forwards are set to face off again, this time in a two-legged semi-final, as Odisha FC and Mohun Bagan SG battle it out.

Their impressive performances have played a significant role in leading their teams to this point in the season. Krishna is the leading scorer for Odisha FC, consistently delivering goals that have propelled the team forward. Meanwhile, Petratos has contributed equally for Mohun Bagan SG, boasting the joint-highest goals for the club this season.

Stat Krishna Petratos
Games Played 23 20
Goals 12 10
Assists 3 6
Total shots 43 72
Shot conversion rate  27.91 13.89
Touches in opposition box 90 67
Big chances created  37 52
Mins/Goal 131.5 162.6
Dribbles attempted  35 17
Possession won final third  11 17
Duels won  106 30

Big game players 

Both Krishna and Petratos bring a wealth of experience to their respective teams and have proven themselves invaluable in various ways, not just by scoring goals. Despite the intense pressure and high stakes in many of this season's matches, these players have consistently shown why they are key assets, even in games where they don't find the back of the net.

Consider recent examples. In the League Shield decider between Mohun Bagan SG and Mumbai City FC, Petratos was instrumental in leading his team to victory. The Australian forward created both of his team's goals, contributing significantly to the Mariners' first-ever Shield win.

Similarly, Krishna was just as impactful in Odisha FC's one-legged knockout match against Kerala Blasters FC, where he provided two critical assists that helped secure his team's spot in the semi-final.

Given their track records, it's no surprise that defenders from both opposing teams will need to pay close attention to these two players in the semi-final. Not only are they capable goal-scorers, but they also possess the vision and creativity to set up scoring opportunities for their teammates, making them dangerous threats from multiple angles.

Petratos, MBSG’s unstoppable attacking force 

In addition to his 10 goals this season, Petratos has been an invaluable playmaker for Mohun Bagan S, contributing six assists, just one behind Manvir Singh, who leads the team in assists. Mohun Bagan SG's league-high goal tally owes much to Petratos' creative prowess - with the Aussie attacker generating 52 scoring opportunities for his teammates, the most among the Mariners.

Despite having a lower shot conversion rate compared to Krishna, Petratos has a knack for being in the right place at crucial moments, creating constant headaches for opposing defenders. This ability is reflected in his record for most shots on target among Mohun Bagan SG players. Besides that, he has also won possession in the final third 17 times, more than any other teammate.

Krishna, more than just a forward  

In addition to his 12 goals this season, Krishna has contributed three assists, the second-highest for Odisha FC, behind Ahmed Jahouh and Isak Vanlalruatfela. Krishna is not only a prolific goal-scorer but also a key playmaker, with his 37 created chances second only to Jahouh, who has created 42 chances for the Kalinga Warriors.

Krishna's impact goes beyond scoring. He has the most shots and touches in the opposition box for Odisha FC. But what truly distinguishes him is his remarkable shot conversion rate, which not only exceeds that of Petratos, but is also the best among his teammates.

However, Krishna's contributions are not limited to offence. His pressing and ability to win possession make him a crucial asset for a team like Odisha FC, which favours playing with the ball. Krishna has won the most duels for his team (106), and is joint-second in the team for possession won in the final third, achieving this on 11 occasions.

As these two stars prepare for their upcoming showdown, their contributions will undoubtedly be pivotal in determining which team advances to the final. It remains to be seen who outperforms the other as two of the league's premier players look to bring their A-game to the ISL semi-finals.