Lethal Warriors: The top strikers of Hero ISL 2021-22 season
In a fiery Hero Indian Super League (ISL) 2021-22 season that saw most goals scored, the forwards enjoyed a prolific run, breaking down the strongest of defences with unchallenged ease.
Outrageous shots, venomous volleys and strikes with finesse became a common occurrence but it was consistency and stability that separated the top strikers from the rest. Here is the list of attackers who stood out:
Bartholomew Ogbeche (Hyderabad FC)
With 18 goals and an assist, Ogbeche proved to be a dream striker in Hyderabad FC’s dream campaign. His contribution stands undisputed as he clutched crucial matches to help his side lift the Hero ISL title trophy. For his grit and determination, Ogbeche was awarded the Golden Boot Award in a season that saw him tonk most goals, replace Sunil Chhetri to become Hero ISL’s leading goal-scorer and score two hat-tricks.
Also read: Record-breaker: Bartholomew Ogbeche’s season of dominance, glory and triumph
Greg Stewart (Jamshedpur FC)
Stewart stood for stability and solidity that transpired into success for Jamshedpur FC as they lifted the League Winners’ Shield. The attacker ended the 2021-22 season as the player with the most goal contributions, including 10 goals and as many assists which earned him the most Hero of the Match awards in a season. At the end of the season for his wonderful performance, Jamshedpur FC’s talisman earned himself the Hero of the League Award. His highlight of the season is headlined by the free-kick goal he took against Kerala Blasters FC that took the footballing world by storm.
Liston Colaco (ATK Mohun Bagan)
A young Indian talent, Liston Colaco, cemented his position in one of the most star-studded squads in the Hero ISL that include the likes of Roy Krishna, Hugo Boumous, Manvir Singh and David Williams. Through hard work and perseverance, he notched the most goals for ATK Mohun Bagan this season and also became the leading Indian goal-scorer with 8 goals along with four assists. Colaco also showcased that he has developed an all-round game with an ability to not only score from set-piece situations but also set-up crosses that can assist in scoring which was seen in the two semi-final legs with similar assists to Krishan.
Jorge Ortiz (FC Goa)
Although FC Goa did not have a successful campaign, Ortiz stood out of the pack for his unmatched skill. In the 15 appearances he made this season, Ortiz scored eight goals and gave five assists. He consistently put in Hero of the Match worthy performances such as his hat-trick against Chennaiyin FC, 65 touches and 11 shots against NorthEast United FC and a goal while creating three chances against Kerala Blasters FC.
Alvaro Vazquez (Kerala Blasters FC)
A crucial cog in Kerala Blasters FC’s offence, Vazquez kept the opposition on their toes. The striker scored eight goals for the club and provided two assists while making an appearance in every Blasters match. Vazquez showed not only his capability to strike volleys home but also slot outrageous out-of-the-box shots. The Spaniard made headlines when he scored a 59-metre goal against NorthEast United FC – the longest goal by distance in Hero ISL.
Daniel Chima (Jamshedpur FC)
Chima’s season was a tale told in two halves. In the first half, part of the SC East Bengal, the Nigerian striker managed to score only two goals from ten appearances. His fortunes turned around under Owen Coyle, scoring seven goals from nine matches and winning the coveted Hero ISL League Shield to turn his second half of the season 180 degrees.
Cleiton Silva (Bengaluru FC)
After a struggling start to the season, Silva helped Bengaluru FC rise on its feet and become serious top four contenders at one point. The Brazilian striker scored nine goals and provided three assists while spending 1527 minutes on the field. Silva rose to tense situations and dealt with pressure head-on. One such encounter was the match against Jamshedpur FC where the Blues were down 1-0 and Silva’s brace brought them back to clinch three crucial points.