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Chennaiyin FC Crowned Hero ISL Champion

Well, it’s FC Barcelona trending on twitter after winning FIFA Club World Cup 2015 but few hours later, something else accompanied them to make it a perfect day for football fans. What is it? It’s

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Well, it’s FC Barcelona trending on twitter after winning FIFA Club World Cup 2015 but few hours later, 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 World Cup 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 the Hero ISL (Indian Super League) on Sunday evening. Well, it’s obvious that this final was far more exciting unlike FIFA Club World Cup where only Barcelona were the clear favourite.

So how did the Indian Super League performed this season? Not at all ordinary, it was extraordinary season! They just outclassed 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 Hero ISL were people who had no affinity for football before.

Now let’s see how did the Hero 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 top four spots most of the season. Iain Hume was the player to watch as he kept his goal coming for Kolkata and was even at second position for Golden Ball race behind Steven Mendoza of Chennaiyin’s. Apart from Zico’s FC Goa and Atletico Kolkata, all other teams remained in fight for occupying position for semis till the end of campaign and Delhi Dynamos and Chennaiyin FC finally landed in top four after a roller coaster season.

Few teams like Mumbai, Kerala, Pune and North East kept their hopes alive and were fighting till the very last match though it was not enough to be among the top four in this highly competitive league. Few players did perform well such as Sunil Chhetri (Mumbai FC), Nicolas Velez (North East United), Chris Dgnall (Kerala Blasters) and Kalu Uche (Pune City).

The Hero ISL finale on Sunday evening was probably the best game of the season. At the start of the match, Chennaiyin pressed hard on Goa but after the first 15 minutes, Joffrey showed his classic moves and also won few free-kicks which helped Goa in boosting themselves. Though Dudu injured himself in the first half, Joffrey and Moura pair up exceptionally well to make few good moves near the penalty box.

After the goalless first half, second half was breathtaking. Mendoza was brought down in the box and Chennaiyin’s Bruna slotted home coolly to give his team the first lead.

In the 59th minute, Goa’s second half substitute Haokip equalized after receiving a low cross from Romeo from the right flank. The match came alive after the game was leveled. Minutes later, Chennaiyin was awarded with another penalty kick but Mendoza’s effort was well saved by Goa’s custodian Kattimani.

It didn’t take long for the next goal to come. In the 87th minute, Joffrey scored from a free-kick just right outside the penalty box to give Goa their first lead in the game! However, Goa’s celebration did not last long. Chennaiyin scored twice in the next two minutes to send the whole stadium into eruption! Goa’s Kattimani mishandled a long ball which was launched into his box and that resulted to a goal. The very next minute, Chennaiyin’s Mendoza bulldozed through the low-moraled Goa’s defence and scored the winner! Final score, Goa 2 Chennaiyin 3. Chennaiyin FC is the 2015 champion!

From the bottom of the league to Champion, what a story it has been for Chennaiyin. At one point, Goa fought extremely well and it certainly looked like they were going to win the game with minutes left to the final whistle. However, Golden Boot Award’s winner, Steven Mendoza ensured the script was written in Chennaiyin’s favor when he scored deep in the game.

Goa’s Joffrey was awarded Player of the Match after the game. Golden Glove goes to Chennaiyin’s custodian, Edima Edel Bete and the Emerging Player of the Tournament is presented to Jeje of Chennaiyin’s. Not forgetting the Fairplay Award, it goes to Mumbai City FC. Lastly, the most anticipated Player of the Hero ISL 2015 goes to Iain Hume of Kolkata.

This edition of Hero ISL was even more successful than the inaugural season and each season it just got better and better. Indian football is rising and the Blue Tigers are coming out of their den which is obviously a good sign of development for Indian football. With this second season concluded, Indian football fans are gettig more excited and definitely looking forward to season 2016. But for now, it’s Chennaiyin FC who got the ultimate Christmas gift – Raviraj Sinh Jethwa.

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