The Hero Indian Super League 2022-23 is here, and it brings along another season of quality football, new talents to watch out for and revival of some spicy club rivalries that often keep football fans on the edge of their seats.
While week 1 of the Hero ISL began with Kerala Blasters registering a 3-1 win over East Bengal in the curtain raiser, fans were treated to the first high-profile fixture of the campaign when Mumbai City fought back to secure a 3-3 draw against defending champions Hyderabad FC.
We briefly summarise all the action that took place in the opening set of games in the Indian Super League 2022/23.
Match 1: Kerala Blasters 3-1 East Bengal
The ninth season of Hero ISL couldn’t have asked for a better start at one of India’s most famous football hubs in the country. As emotional as it was for the fans, it was more so for the Kerala Blasters’ goalscorers Adrian Luna and Ivan Kalyuzhnyi.
After a goalless tug-of-war in the initial 70 minutes, Kerala’s Adrián Luna struck the first goal in the 72nd minute to bring the game back to life.
The Uruguayan took control of full-back Harmanjot Khabra’s aerial ball from the half-line and acrobatically put it past goalkeeper Kamaljit Singh. Luna dedicated the goal to his late daughter Julieta who passed away in April due to cystic fibrosis.
Kerala would double their lead through Ukraine’s Ivan Kalyuzhnyi, as the substitute squeezed his way past the East Bengal defence before slotting the ball past the keeper.
While Alex Lima pulled one back for East Bengal in the 87th minute, Kalyuzhnyi netted his second of the night with a brilliant 25-yard hit in the 89th minute.
Match 2: Bengaluru FC 1-0 Northeast United
Bengaluru FC, who were the biggest winners of the transfer window , left it late to seal a 1-0 win over North East United.
While Sunil Chhetri and Roy Krishna failed to find the back of the net, the man who won them the 2022 Durand Cup, Alan Costa rose high at the end of a set-piece to give BFC the lead in the 87th minute.
The Bengaluru faithful could have seen points being shared despite the late goal by their defender when a sweetly struck volley by Jon Gaztañaga of Northeast United breezed past Gurpreet in goal in stoppage time. The goal was then disallowed by the linesman, the aftermath of which saw the NEUFC Head Coach Marco Balbul being given a red card.
Match 3: Hyderabad FC 3-3 Mumbai City FC
Hyderabad FC’s title defence began with a 3-3 draw against Mumbai City FC.
An own goal from Chinglensana Singh in the 23rd minute opened the floodgates in the contest which saw Mumbai apply early pressure on the Nizams. Hyderabad, however, drew one back as Joao Victor converted a penalty in the last minute of first-half stoppage time.
The second half took things up a notch as four goals were scored. Halicharan Narzary grabbed the lead for Hyderabad in the 51st minute when he fired past Mumbai goalkeeper Phurba Lachenpa after receiving an inch-perfect pass from winger Mohammed Yasir.
On his ISL debut for the Islanders, Greg Stewart helped Mumbai City draw the scores level 2-2 in the 67th minute. Ahmed Jahouh’s through ball set the stage for the Scottish forward to fire the ball past Hyderabad goalkeeper Laxmikant Kattimani.
While Hyderabad regained the lead via Joao Victor in the 76th minute, Mumbai clawed their way back to settle for a draw thanks to Alberto Noguera’s close range effort.
Match 4: ATK Mohun Bagan 1-2 Chennaiyin FC
Chennaiyin FC rode on goals from Kwame Karikari and Rahim Ali to seal a come-from-behind 2-1 win against ATK Mohun Bagan.
The Mariners were the first to grab the lead through Manvir Singh in the 27th minute, converting a pass from Dimitri Petratos to fire past Chennaiyin FC goalkeeper Debjit Majumder.
Chennaiyin, however, went on the offensive in the second half and grabbed the equaliser in the 62nd minute. Substitute Karikari converted a penalty on his ISL bow to bring some confidence to the travelling Chennai fans.
Karikari had a hand in the second goal as well, as he carried Edwin Sydney Vanspaul’s pass and cut it to Rahim who struck the winner home in the 83rd minute.
Match 5: Jamshedpur FC 2-3 Odisha FC
The final fixture of Gameweek 1 saw Odisha FC seal a nail-biting 2-3 win over Jamshedpur FC.
Jamshedpur were more dominant in the first half, as they struck twice in the opening 10 minutes. Daniel Chukwu took advantage of a rebound from the makeshift right back Thoiba Singh and smashed the ball past Amrinder Singh.
Boris Singh’s tap-in at the far post doubled Jamshedpur FC’s lead. But Odisha opened their account seven minutes later, as Diego Mauricio curled in a pass from Raynier Fernandes leaving Jamshedpur’s keeper TP Rehenesh rooted to the ground.
Trailing 2-1, Odisha would find another breakthrough in their attempts for goal in the final minutes of the game. Issac Vanmalsawma scores one from distance as he draws the scores level at 2-2 against his former team, before Mauricio scores his second and Odisha’s third of the night to win the tie in the 91st minute.
Gameweek 2 fixtures:
12th October – East Bengal FC vs FC Goa
13th October – Northeast United FC vs Hyderabad FC
14th October – Chennaiyin FC vs Bengaluru FC
15th October – Mumbai City FC vs Odisha FC
16th October – Kerala Blasters FC vs ATK Mohun Bagan FC
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