The Hero Indian Super League (ISL) is just a couple of days away from the beginning of its knockout phase. Four semifinal matches will be played before the final at the DY Patil Stadium in Navi Mumbai on December 20. In the league phase, a whopping 121 goals were scored in 56 games by players of assorted nationalities. Ethiopian international Fikru Teferra may have kicked off the scoring bonanza but a perusal of the goal scoring charts shows Brazilians in a most dominant light. Three Brazilians figure among the top five goals corers in the ISL and Brazil, the land of ‘samba soccer’, is the leading goal scoring nation in the tournament. Here are the leading goal scoring nations in the ISL:
Brazil: Brazilian magic has swept the ISL with 26 goals coming from the feet or heads of Brazilian players who have dazzled fans with their sublime finishing and technical prowess. Elano Blumer (Chennaiyin FC) leads the Golden Boot charts with eight goals, followed by the enchanting Gustavo dos Santos (Delhi Dynamos FC) with five and FC Goa’s André Santos alongside Chennaiyin’s Bruno Pelissari with four. ISL’s only hat-trick man André Moritz (Mumbai City FC) has three while Guilherme de Castro (NorthEast United FC) and Pedro Gusmao (Kerala Blasters FC) have also scored one goal each.
India: With the host nation providing the bulk of the players in the ISL, it is no surprise to find India in the second position with 23 goals. Goa youngster and winger Romeo Fernandes and Jeje Lalpekhlua of Chennaiyin lead the Indians with most goals in the tournament (3). Baljit Sahni along with Cavin Lobo (both Atlético de Kolkata) have a brace each to their credit. Thirteen other Indians – including NorthEast United’s Durga Boro, Kerala Blasters’ CS Sabeeth, Mumbai City’s Subhash Singh, and Chennaiyin’s Balwant Singh – have netted a goal each.
France: France and Spain are tied at number three with 11 goals. What is interesting is that French defenders have been leading the goal scoring charge with Goa’s Youness Bengelloun and Grégory Arnolin contributing two goals each, Bernard Mendy (Chennaiyin) and Johan Letzelter, who is being played mainly in the midfield by Mumbai City, having one each. However star strikers Nicolas Anelka (Mumbai City) and David Trezeguet (FC Pune City) have each knocked in a couple of goals while another French legend, Robert Pirès has found the net once from the spot for Goa.
Spain: Spanish players have had a major impact on the fortunes of their teams in the ISL although they have only managed 11 goals among themselves. Sergio Contreras Pardo, better known as Koke, has scored four for the Highlanders while former Liverpool legend Luis García, the lynchpin of the Kolkata midfield, has bulged the net twice. His colleagues Borja Fernández, Jofre and Arnal Llibert have one goal each as does Cristian Hidalgo of Chennaiyin and Bruno Arias of Delhi.