Statistics suggest winning away from home does not come easy in India as well.
Since its inception, the ISL has witnessed loads of action, thrilling moments and many match-winners over the years.
Through the six seasons, clubs from all parts of the country have proven their mettle not only on their own patch but on a rival’s territory which has contributed to the team’s successes as per common belief. Thus, we take a look and analyse the performances of all teams away from their home grounds.
Over the six seasons of the ISL, the average away team win rate is 29.7%. This shows that like other leagues, winning away from home does not come easy in India as well.
We start off with the current champions ATK, who have an excellent record to show for their efforts in the ISL. The men from Kolkata have qualified for the playoffs in four out of the six seasons, winning the title thrice. In their 54 away games so far, the Red & Whites have won 17 games, drawn 21 times and lost 16 accumulating a total of 72 points. Their ratio of 1.33 points/away game is the third highest after Bengaluru and Goa. They also have the third-highest number of away wins in the league behind Goa and Chennaiyin FC. Stats like these speak evidence of ATK’s capability that has been a cornerstone of their success in the competition.
But their win ratio is a bit questionable as ATK have won only 17 of their 54 away games (31.5%) having drawn more away from home. Even during the playoffs, they were forced to penalties once against Goa and in the final against Kerala Blasters both of which were won by ATK 4-3.
Since their entry into the Indian Super League, Bengaluru FC have been a force to be reckoned having reached the playoffs in all three seasons where they’ve won a title and made the final in their debut season. The quality is evident not just in the big names that they possess but also their on-field performances.
Bengaluru have the best points-to-games ratio in the ISL, accumulating 1.5 points per game. Since their start, they have scored 42 goals in 30 away games. The Blues have more number of away wins than Hyderabad FC, Kerala Blasters, NorthEast United and Jamshedpur FC which shows their dominance in the league in the brief time that they have been. Incidentally, they also hold the record for the most away wins in a single season with seven wins in their debut season where they went till the final.
Chennaiyin FC have always been on the extremes when it comes to away games. In their 55 away games (the highest), they’ve won 19 games, drawn 11 and lost 25 which amounts to 45% games. But here’s the catch, Chennaiyin have won the second-highest number of away games and have the second-highest haul of 69 goals in ISL history, both behind FC Goa. The two-time champions have also tasted defeat the most number of times in the playoffs in away games losing four times.
For FC Goa, the team from the party town brings the party onto the pitch irrespective of the venue. When it comes to records in the ISL, Goa feature at the top of almost every mention and there is no exception in this regard. The Gaurs have featured in 54 games in the ISL and have 22 wins (highest), 12 draws and 20 defeats to show for their efforts. They have collected 78 points (the highest in the ISL in away games) at an average of 1.44 points/game, the second-highest behind Bengaluru FC (1.5) and have scored 89 goals in their away performances, while conceding 75.
In fact, Goa and Bengaluru are the only two teams to have a positive goal difference in away games with Goa having the highest difference of +14. The immense supremacy shown by the team makes you wonder what else do they need to win a title having missed out twice in the finals and finished losing semi-finalists in three seasons.
When it comes to the ISL, Kerala Blasters have always been a team synonymous with their state’s craze for the beautiful game but haven’t been able to translate that passion to performances in arenas across the country possessing the worst win ratio on their travels at a measly 20%. Kerala also don’t have very desirable numbers to show for their efforts on the road. Despite scoring 58 goals in 50 away games (goal ratio of 1.16/game), the Blasters have let in 90, the highest number for any team in the ISL.
Their tally of 45 points is also the lowest among inaugural teams in the ISL. Bengaluru FC, who have played 20 games fewer, have the same number of points on their travels as Kerala Blasters.
Meanwhile, Mumbai City FC have put up credible numbers when it comes to their performances away from their home. Mumbai have featured in 50 away games and have qualified for the playoffs twice where they eventually lost track. They have 15 wins, 16 draws and 19 defeats as their tally since the competition started and have scored a return of 61 points in their travels, an average of 1.22 points/game which is the fifth-highest tally in ISL history.
But their performances have come at a cost with the Islanders conceding 86 times in their travels, the second-worst in the ISL and have scored 56 goals in return which is only the sixth-highest in the ISL scoring charts.
In their two playoffs appearances, they lost once to ATK and won a game against FC Goa despite it being a dead rubber due to Goa having spanked them 5-1 in the home fixture. Mumbai City FC also possess the infamous distinction of enduring the worst away loss when they were whipped 7-0 by FC Goa in Fatorda in 2016.
Jamshedpur FC made their debut along with Bengaluru FC in the 2017-18 season. Despite possessing a great array of talent, they have flattered to deceive since beginning in India’s premier football league competition. The Men of Steel have featured in 27 away games and have won only six times, drawing 12 and losing nine times. In the process, they have procured 30 points in their games and have a poor win percentage of 22.2%.
NorthEast United like Kerala Blasters are a team full of talent but rarely punch above their weight. Particularly on their travels, the Highlanders have hardly looked convincing and that is evident from their figures where they have won only 11 out of 49 away games and amassed only 47 points in the away fixtures so far.
NorthEast United’s tally of 42 goals is also the least among teams playing from the first season of the ISL. They also recorded a win ratio of only 22.4%. It is the only team in the ISL with a goal ratio of less than 1/game. Their maiden playoffs appearance started in style with the team triumphing over Bengaluru FC before the eventual champions Blues smashed them in the return fixture at the Kanteerava.
Odisha FC and Hyderabad FC came on the backdrop of their other counterparts, Delhi Dynamos and FC Pune City’s brand getting changed. The side from Bhubaneshwar haven’t shown up extraordinary numbers and have rather conceded the same number of goals as Chennaiyin FC (80) and have scored 56 goals in 50 away appearances.
Odisha have a winning record of only 28% winning 14 games, drawing parity on 11 occasions and losing 25 games which put them in joint-second position for most defeats away from home.
Hyderabad, who re-emerged from the erstwhile FC Pune City also have a sorry record. The team has recorded 26 defeats on their travels which is the highest in the ISL and has only 47 points from their 49 away games in the ISL. In their previous incarnation, Hyderabad also hold the ignominious distinction of aggregating the least number of points in a single season away from home taking only two points from their travels in 2015 losing. They also have the record for the most losses in a single season losing eight out of the nine away games in the season gone by.
All these records suggest that there is a huge disparity among teams when it comes to winning games away from home in the ISL with the highest winning ratio is only 43.3% (Bengaluru FC). It shows how tough the league has become with all teams strengthening their home patch. But there always seems a widening gulf in the performances between some teams like Goa, ATK and Bengaluru compared to other teams on foreign conditions.