Revisiting Hero ISL’s memorable blockbusters after 500 games
Jamshedpur FC’s 1-0 win over NorthEast United FC on Friday night marked a special milestone for the Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL) as the country’s premier football league reached 500 games. The Hero ISL has given us innumerable unforgettable moments and heroes since its inception in 2014 and has taken football in the country to the next level. India’s footballing revolution through the Hero ISL has seen us witness 360 wins, 1366 goals, 279 clean sheets and 24 hat-tricks. Here we take a trip down memory lane and relive some of the high-scoring blockbusters in Hero ISL history.
FC Goa 5 – 4 Chennaiyin FC, December 01, 2016
Even though both sides had disappointing campaigns, they served up a real treat for fans when they squared off at the Fatorda Stadium. Jerry Lalrinzuala opened the scoring in the fourth minute in spectacular fashion with a brilliant freekick before Rafael Luiz equalised for Goa two minutes later. A Gregory Arnolin own goal soon after reestablished Chennaiyin’s lead but Joffre Gonzalez restored parity for Goa. The Marina Machans went ahead again courtesy of a MacPherlin Omagbemi and led at halftime. However, a Sahil Tavora goal and another strike by Luiz in the second half put Goa ahead only for John Arne Riise to level from the spot. Goa, though, did have the last laugh with a Tavora winner in injury time.
Kerala Blasters FC 3 – 6 Chennaiyin FC, February 01, 2020
The defeat to Goa wasn’t the only nine-goal thriller that Chennaiyin were involved in. Last season saw the Marina Machans play another match that witnessed nine goals and, on this occasion, they emerged as winners. A first half brace by Rafael Crivellaro and a Nerijus Valskis goal put Chennaiyin in a good position, but Bartholomew Ogbeche scored early in the second half for Kerala to make things interesting. Chennaiyin responded with a strike from Lallianzuala Chhangte before Ogbeche netted twice in 11 minutes to complete his hat-trick and give the Blasters hope. The hope, though, was fast extinguished thanks to goals from Chhangte and Valskis in the 80th minute and added time respectively.
Odisha FC 4 – 4 Kerala Blasters FC, February 23, 2020
Kerala Blasters, in fact, had their fair share of high-scoring, entertaining contests last season and played out a 4-4 draw with Odisha FC three weeks after the nine-goal thriller against Chennaiyin. The drama began early as Manuel Onwu scored his first of the night in the second minute only for it to be cancelled out by a Narayan Das own goal. The Blasters then took the lead through Messi Bouli but Onwu’s second of the night in the 37th minute and a Martin Guedes penalty before halftime put Odisha in a position of strength. Onwu then completed his hat-trick six minutes into the second half as Odisha looked on course for a win. However, two successful Ogbeche penalties in the final stretch of the contest ensured that the points were shared.
Chennaiyin FC 3 – 4 NorthEast United FC, October 18, 2018
Ogbeche seems to have a penchant for making his presence felt in high-scoring thrillers and it was once again the case during NorthEast’s run to the semi-final of Hero ISL 2018-19. The Highlanders had begun the game disappointingly and were trailing by two goals after 15 minutes. Chennaiyin had opened the scoring early through a Rowllin Borges own goal and a Thoi Singh strike in the 15th minute doubled their lead. NorthEast fought back courtesy of an Ogbeche goal just before the half hour but Thoi struck again for Chennaiyin in the 32nd minute. Undeterred, Ogbeche scored twice more before halftime to complete his hat-trick and make it all square at the break. The second half wasn’t as frantic as the first with only one goal in it and the winner was scored by Borges, who made amends for his earlier own goal.
FC Goa 4 – 3 Bengaluru FC, November 30, 2017
FC Goa’s seven-goal thriller against Bengaluru FC at the Fatorda Stadium in Hero ISL 2017-18 was another ebb and flow fixture that the Gaurs won. Ferran Corominas opened the scoring for Goa in the 16th minute but Miku equalised for Bengaluru five minutes later. Corominas netted his second after the half hour mark and a Manuel Bruno penalty five minutes before the break then gave Goa a two-goal lead heading into the halftime interval. Despite being a man down following Gurpreet Singh Sandhu’s sending off in the first half, the Blues fought back in the second courtesy of goals from Erik Paartalu and Miku’s second of the night. Corominas, though, scored the winner a couple of minutes after Bengaluru had equalised to secure all three points for Goa.