Well, it’s FC Barcelona trending on twitter after winning FIFA club world cup 2015 but just after few hours something else accompanied them to make it a perfect day for football fans. What is it? It’s Indian super league finale on the same day just after few hours of FIFA Club WC Final. Two finals on the same day is a treat to watch for hardcore football fans. After a thrilling and energetic 90 minutes of action Chennaiyin FC won the season-2 of ISL on Sunday evening. Well that’s obvious that this finale was far more exciting ,unlike FIFA club WC where only Barca were the clear favourites.
So, how did the Indian Super League performed this season? Not at all ordinary, it was extra ordinary season. They just out classed every single match and concluded with an astonishing finale .Never we seen people filling up the stadiums to watch a football match like this throughout the season. It’s not surprising to say that it is the fourth most popular league in the world after Premier league, La-Liga, Serie A and Bundesliga. The people following the ISL were people who had no affinity for football before.
Now let’s see how did the ISL teams and players performed this season. Starting from the first match where Atletico De Kolkata defeated Chennaiyin FC in the inaugural match, Koltaka side was more confident throughout the season and remained in the four spots most of the season. Iain Hume was the player to watch from Kolkata scoring screamers and remained at second position for golden ball race behind Steven Mendoza of Chennaiyin .The up’s and down’s in table occurred throughout the season but Zico’s FC Goa and Atletico Kolkata remained in top four most of the time .Other teams remained in fight for occupying position for semis till the end of the campaign and Delhi Dynamos and Chennaiyin FC finally landed in top four after a roller coaster season with lots of up’s and down’s.
Few teams like Mumbai, Kerala, Pune and North East kept their hopes alive and fought till the end, though it was not enough to be among the top four in this highly competitive league. Few players performed well from these teams are Sunil Chhetri (Mumbai FC), Nicolas Velez (North East United), Chris Dagnall (Kerala Blasters) and Kalu Uche (Pune City).
Now let’s have a look at the top four teams of the season. Atletico De Kolkata lost 2-4 on aggregate with Chennaiyin FC, but Iain Hume’s goal in the dyeing minutes was the goal of the season. On the other side FC Goa beat Delhi Dynamos 3-1 (agg) to book their birth to final. For majority of the season of this ISL season, Chennaiyin FC struggled to get going and from rock bottom , how Chennayin reached the final won’t be possible without Marco Materazzi who managed the team and helped them in a journey from bottom to top.
The Hero ISL finale on Sunday evening was one of the best match of the season. At the start of the match Chennai pressed hard on Goa but after first 15 minutes Joffrey showed his classic moves and also won few free kicks which helped Goa in boosting themselves. Though Dudu injured in the first half but the Joffrey and Moura paired up exceptionally well and made few good moves near the penalty box. After the goal less first half, second half was breathtaking. Mendoza was brought down in the box and Chennaiyin got the first penalty of the match which was coolly slotted by Bruna into the net. After 59 minutes on the clock the second half sub Haokip scored after a diving low cross from Romeo from the right flank. The match came alive with 1-1 score on the board. After few minutes Chennaiyin got another penalty after Mendoza was one on one battled for the ball, but Kattimani saved the penalty from Mendoza. In 87th minute Joffre scored the free-kick from outside the box at the death. Goa’s celebration wasn’t even finished and Chennaiyin have scored twice in two next minutes and the stadium erupted and went absolute mad. First a long ball into his own net by Kattimani under pressure from Mendoza and then in the next minute Mendoza runs behind the defence and squeezes a finish past Kattimani. Now at full time the final score was Goa 2-3 Chennai and Chennaiyin FC are the 2015 champions.
From the bottom of the league to Champions, what a story it has been for Chennaiyin FC. At once, Goa fought well and thought they won it with 2 mins to go but Steven Mendoza the golden boot of the season scored the beauty in the dyeing minutes. Jofrey was awarded the player of the match who fought hard for his Goa side. So, the Golden Boot and the Hero of the season won by John Steven Mendoza. Golden Glove award goes to Chennayin FC goalkeeper Edima Edel Bete and the emerging player of the tournament goes to Jeje of Chennaiyin FC. Fairplay award goes to Mumbai City FC and the most awaited Player of the ISL 2015 goes to Iain Hume of Kolkata.
This season of ISL was even more successful and thus it is getting better & better by every season. Indian football is rising and the Blue tigers are coming out of their den which is a good sign of development in Indian football. Well, after this successful season of ISL fans are eager to watch next season in 2016, but for now it’s Chennaiyin FC who got the ultimate Christmas gift.
-Raviraj Sinh Jethwa(its me, crazy about soccer and writing)