Top 10 matches from 2017-18 Indian football season
Written by: Aniket Surve
The campaign saw some of the best games, be it nail-biting comebacks, last minute winners or complete domination which made this season one of the best.
The 2017-18 season was graced with massive developments which grabbed a lot of domestic and international attention. Indian football fans finally witnessed the battle between the sides of India's prominent leagues viz. I-League and the Indian Super League. This season also marked the second of the Indian Women's League (IWL) which proved to be another milestone for women's football in India.
As the domestic season has finally concluded, we cherish it by presenting 10 matches across all competitions which kept the fans right on the edge of their seats.
Abhijit Sarkar scored both the goals for the Arrows against the Red Machines
The AIFF developmental side held its nerves to pull off an injury-time win against Churchill Brothers. The youngsters started the game with flying colours as they kept Churchill's defence on the backfoot.
Despite being under pressure Churchill were the ones who grabbed the opening goal against the run of play. Dawda Ceesay tapped in a beautiful pass from Nicholas Fernandes into the net. The goal killed all the attacking intent of the Arrows who then sat deep and tried to contain Churchill's attack. The match was finally sparked into life after Abhijit Sarkar netted a clinical finish past the keeper to bring his team on level terms.
The late onslaught by the youngsters saw another goal scored by Sarkar who pounced on a defensive error from Eldor and tucked the ball into the net. Within a span of two minutes in second half injury-time, the match was completely turned on its head by the young Arrows' side.
Read the match report here.
East Bengal locked horns with newly-promoted NEROCA FC in an I-League final day encounter in Kolkata. This was counted as the most important fixture in the season by both sides as it could have helped either win the league title depending on the results of other simultaneous games. Before the match, NEROCA stood at second position with 31 points, just a point below table-toppers Minerva while the Kolkata giants were placed third a further point behind.
Felix Chidi scored the opening goal of the match right before half-time. The Northeastern side did well to keep their title hopes alive as they fought hard to stop the Red and Gold from scoring a goal. However, Dudu Omagbemi scored a sumptuous header to ensure that the Bengal side bow out of the league with atleast a point from the game. The equalizer thrashed NEROCA's dream of bagging the title as they finished runners-up, below winners Minerva.
8. Rising Student 0-0 KRYHPSA (4-3 on penalties)
Rising Student Club went on to be crowned champions of the IWL this year
KRYPHSA who were favourites to lift the title in the IWL this season were stunned in the semi-finals by eventual winners Rising Student's Club. KRYHPSA started their domination from the word go as Bala Devi came close to opening the scoring in the first minute. The side lead by Bala Devi pressed the opposition throughout the match, but were unlucky in front of goal as they fluffed many chances to put themselves ahead.
The match remained poised at 0-0 after 90 minutes. The added 30 minutes were also fruitless and the game went to penalties. The shootout saw the Odisha-based club knock KRYHPSA out of the tournament.
Click here to know how it happened.
The league debutants produced a resilient performance to deny the Mariners a shot at glory. The visitors continuously pressed hard and tested Gokulam's defence for the first 20 minutes. Their efforts were finally rewarded as striker Aser Dipanda Dicka nodded a deflected shot into the goal. The goal came as a wake-up call for the southerners who then launched numerous attacks, but with little success.
However, the pressure finally paid off as Henry Kisekka scored the equalizer just before half-time.
See the highlights of the match here
FC Goa and Mumbai City locked horns in one of the most thrilling matches of the Indian season as the Islanders emerged victorious from the seven-goal thriller. Ferran Corominas opened the goals tally for the night for the Gaurs half an hour into the game.
Minutes later, Everton Santos scored the equalizer for the Islanders. Goals from Manuel Lanzarote, Achille Emana, Thiago Santos and Coro again made the scoreline 3-3 with the match once again evenly poised. But, Balwant Singh's 86th-minute winner helped Mumbai edge past the Gaurs.
Read what happened in the match here.
FC Goa were engaged in another seven-goal thriller with Bengaluru FC at Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Goa. Corominas scored the first goal of the night 16 minutes into the match handing a goal-lead to the home side.
However, the lead did not last longer than a couple of minutes as Miku grabbed an equalizer for the Blues. Corominas responded with another goal just after the half hour mark. The match went from bad to worse for Bengaluru as Gurpreet Singh Sandhu was shown a straight red after pushing Lanzarote in the box. The resulting penalty was easily converted by the man himself sending the substitute keeper Abrha Mondal he the wrong way.
Goa were comfortably leading the match 3-1 at half-time. However, Erik Paartalu and Miku scored two quick goals in the second half to bring Bengaluru on level terms. But, Corominas' 63rd-minute strike won the game for the home side.
The Kolkata Derby, the most awaited game of the Indian season ended in favour of Mohun Bagan. With the victory, the Mariners completed a league double over rivals East Bengal, having won the reverse fixture 1-0.
Aser Pierrick Dipanda opened the goal tally for the game with just 55 seconds played. The Cameroonian striker added another one later in the first half to double Bagan's lead. The second half of the game saw no more goals as both sides cancelled out each other. The defeat resulted in a major blow for East Bengal in the title chase.
Read the match report here.
3. NEROCA FC 3-2 Kerala Blasters
NEROCA came back from a two-goal deficit against Kerala Blasters
After a very impressive I-League campaign, the Imphal-based club continued their consistency in the inaugural Super Cup. The Orange Brigade were up against southern giants Kerala Blasters in the pre-quarterfinal where they made a comeback to knock the southern outfit out.
Milan Singh and Victor Pulga scored two early goals to put Blasters on the front foot. But, Joachim, Aryn Williams and Felix Chidi stepped up to provide the I-League side with a win later in the game.
Know about all the details of the fixture here.
Bengaluru FC and Chennaiyin Fc locked horns in the grand finale of the ISL 2017-18 season at Sree Kanteerava Stadium. Despite being considered as the favourites, the Blues were stunned by their southern counterparts eventually.
Chennaiyin put up a valiant performance to beat Bengaluru FC in the ISL final
The Blues' skipper Sunil Chhetri drew first blood in the final scoring within the first 10 minutes. However, Mailson Alves scored two goals in the first half to hand Chennaiyin a 1-2 lead at the halfway mark. Raphael Augusto scored the third for the Chennai side, thus putting the game to bed.
Bengaluru pushed a number of players in attack to turn the game around, but with no luck. Miku finally went past Chennaiyin's defence scoring deep into injury-time. The final whistle saw Chennaiyin winning their second ISL title.
Read more about the game here.
The Kolkata outfit ran riot against Chennai City at Salt Lake Stadium. Dudu Omagbemi scored four of the seven goals for the Red and Gold. Mahmoud Al Amnah and Gabriel Fernandes bagged a goal each to provide East Bengal with an easy win. Dharmaraj Ravanan scored an own-goal adding to the visitors' misery.
Chennai were lucky to see the riot stop at secen goals as their shambolic defending was all set to make the scoreline more ugly. M.Thangalakath grabbed a consolation goal for Chennai thus giving their fans a moment to cheer about.
Read more about the game here.
Published: Tue Apr 24, 2018 03:55 PM IST