Hero ISL 2022-23: Experts pick their best moments from the season
The dust is starting to settle on a remarkable Hero Indian Super League (ISL) 2022-23 season and the players, coaches, fans and even the pundits have just about got their breath back.
With almost two weeks since ATK Mohun Bagan lifted the Hero ISL trophy in Goa, it’s time to look back and dive deeper into the campaign.
Hero ISL experts Paul Masefield, Phil Brown and Erik Paartalu who have been providing their insights all season long, pick their favourite moments of the campaign.
Erik Paartalu: Season opener in Kochi
With the fans back in the stands after a gap of two years, there was no better place to kickstart the campaign than Kochi. The Kerala Blasters FC fans filled the stadium and made a spectacle.
Ivan Vukomanovic’s side responded in the perfect manner not just by picking up a 3-1 win over East Bengal FC but by scoring three wonderful goals. Adrian Luna started things with a superbly timed volley before Ivan Kaliuzhnyi stole the show with a breathtaking solo goal and a stunning long-range effort.
Phil Brown: Vishal Kaith’s penalty save in Hero ISL final shootout
Vishal Kaith had a wonderful season and was one of ATK Mohun Bagan’s best players this season. But big players are defined by big moments and Kaith produced one when it mattered the most in the Hero ISL final in the penalty shootout when the pressure was on.
It was a fiercely struck penalty by Bruno Ramires but Kaith guessed the right way and kept it out using his strong hands. That save set the Mariners on their way to glory.
Paul Masefield: Mumbai City FC 2-2 ATK Mohun Bagan
My moment of the season is actually a full ninety minutes. It was when Mumbai City FC took on ATK Mohun Bagan at the Mumbai Football Arena. It was a 2-2 draw and for me the best game that we have ever seen in the Hero ISL.
What that game did is that it made people realise that football in India is on the rise. The quality and tempo throughout the game were just a wonderful advert for the Hero ISL. It showed how far the Hero ISL has come in the past nine editions. I think there is plenty more to come in the future.
But that day at the Mumbai Football Arena set a tone of how good the league can be.