Positives of ISL for Indian Football

The Hero Indian Super League seems to be progressing well as it is successfully pulling more crowds to football grounds, even if it is just to watch their favourite international players as well as Indian celebrities. Two Former Juventus star players Alessandro Del Piero and David Trezeguet and also Robert Pires (FC Goa) brought crowds to the stadium and chants of Peiro Peiro was a hearty watch at the capital city. However they failed to create magic on field. With an extensive experience of 20 years, the Italian star Alessandro Del Piero can steer the young players in his team Delhi Dynamos.

Positive response from fans

The enthusiasm on social networking websites clearly show that Indian Super League has moved a step ahead and is ready to leap into a big show gradually. Social websites are bursting of support along with growing number of facebook likes, fans and followers and tweets from football fans for Delhi Dynamos FC followed by Atletico de Kolkata and Mumbai City FC. 23, 483 tweets for team Chennaiyan FC do demonstrate a strong support. Besides the much needed cheering from fans and getting business we need more of action on the football field along with co-ordination among the Indian and international players giving a fillip to Indian football and its standard. Doing so would ensure that the much-hyped ISL will be able to carry out the international dreams of Indian football players.

Need to build cooperation

A lot of excitement was seen in the capital city but on the field it was not a very upbeat start as the match ended in a goalless draw sharing a point each between Delhi Dynamos and FC Pune City at Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, Delhi on October 14.

Delhi Dynamos had an upper hand but they couldn’t capitalise on it well, as they missed out on a few chances. The first ten minutes of the game they kept on passing the ball to each other instead of taking a shot. The initial period of the game should have been aiming the goalpost which didn’t happen. They did manage a fair game but it didn’t seem satisfactory as per their strength. Brazilian Gustavo Dos Santos showed some strength with the ball when he raced onto the ground and cleverly positioned the ball past the Pune City FC goalkeeper.

They failed to utilise the home advantage. Lack of coordination between the Indian and international players on the ground were evident. They still need more time to build coordination. As no goals for marquee players were seen, one question rose: Are the foreign imports showing off their ball skills more than scoring goals?

 A platform to accomplish dreams

The ISL after its first round of matches showed a standard response from fans with 43,000 spectators. Tickets sold worth Rs. 2 crore and television viewership expected at about 21 crores will surely help in the development of Indian football.

Few Indian players have been giving out their best in the Hero Indian Super League and are determined to mark this league as a turning phase for them. The tall and sturdy goalkeeper Subhashish Roy Chowdhary from Atletico de Kolkata along with his close friend Subrata Paul from Mumbai City showcased great goalkeeping skills on ground. Striker Balwant Singh from Chennaiyan FC and Francis Fernandez showcased good quality performances in the first round of matches. For the Delhi Dynamos, Fernandez came shining at the right side.

In terms of football and players being recognised and gaining media popularity, Indian football is sure to get a boost. Talking about the standard of the league and performances, we cannot expect rapid results. It is a gradual learning process and it will take time to mark a name in international football. We should be happy that at least the beginning steps have been taken towards the goal. If everything goes right, the dreams of many Indian football players to play in the international leagues will soon turn out to be true. As the matches are also being telecast to many countries, it’s a good chance for the Indian players to be recognized and could also land them contracts to play in clubs abroad.

With top Indian industrialists and celebrities investing in the Indian Super League with eight franchises – Chennai, Delhi, Goa, Guwahati, Kochi, Kolkata, Mumbai and Pune — Let us also hope that Indian football gets a facelift!

 Matches summary

In Match 1, Atletico De Kolkata beat Mumbai City FC 3-0 at the Salt Lake Stadium on October 12 with an attendance of 65,000. NorthEast United FC landed a perfect win with a score of 1-0 against Kerala Blasters at the Indira Gandhi International Stadium ,Guwahati on October 13. Delhi Dynamos against Pune City FC ended in a goalless draw at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, Delhi on October 14. Next up, Dhoni’s Chennaiyan FC defeated Virat Kohli’s FC Goa 2-1, Balwant Singh from Chennaiyan FC receiving the hero of the match at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium , Fatorda on October 15.As Atletico De Kolkata defeated North East United FC 2-0, Sourav Ganguly looked a happy man. Fikru Teferra Lemessa and Jakub Podany scored for Atletico de Kolkata.

Saturday night had quite some action as the first hat-trick of the tournament announced an implausible win of Mumbai City FC win over FC Pune City 5-0 at the DY Patil Stadium.

Atletico De Kolkata stands at the top as of now with 7 points. Atletico de Kolkata finished out a 1-1 draw against Delhi Dynamos at the Salt Lake Stadium, Kolkata on October 19. Some stunning goals were seen on ground. Del Piero’s splendid cross headed away to Pavel Elias resulting in an equalizer against Kolkata’s goal by Jofre was a delight for the crowds.

After the second match of the day between Northeast United FC and FC Goa with the scoreline 1-1 at the Indira Gandhi Stadium, Guwahati on Sunday, the John-Abraham team – Goa still seeks a first victory after their loss to Chennaiyan FC in the opening tie. Gregory Amolin scored for FC Goa. The equalizer from Dhoni and Abhishek Bachhan’s team Chennaiyan FC was scored by Koke.

Also, Chennaiyan FC will play against Kerala Blasters on October 21 in Chennai.

Setting higher standards

As the international players extend their experience to the national players and even work on the coordination factor besides getting used to the Indian grounds, some astonishing goals and saves from goalkeepers are being witnessed at the prestigious Hero India Super League. Let’s hope the league with its inaugural edition gains more popularity and brings high-quality football in India!