The eight-team ISL kicks off on Saturday with Chennaiyin FC, managed by World Cup victor Marco Materazzi, taking on defending champions Atletico de Kolkata, starring Portuguese striker Helder Postiga. It was all Chennaiyin as Kolkata seemed content to hold on to their advantage, with Hume and Postiga barely making an impression on the game.
“For me, three points now and at the end of the season are the same”.
The impressive performance of the Chennaiyin FC team in the opening year delighted fans and they now look ahead to another strong showing as News Today takes a look at how the teams stack up this time.
When asked about Fikru Teferra, the marque player who was instrumental in Atletico winning the title previous year before migrating to Chennai, Habas said, “Fikru is a good player”. Unfortunately, this was Chennai after all and despite Kapoor’s many entreats, the loudest cheers were duly reserved for Rajnikanth and Sachin Tendulkar when the camera fittingly panned to them sitting together.
The fact that it arrived after a rather drab opening ceremony probably made it sweeter.
Key Player: Simao Sabrosa: The former Portugal global is expected to bring in oodles of experience to the NorthEast United side, and he has already shown what he is capable of.
“Let’s football”, the credo of the Indian Super League (ISL), has caught the fancy of fans and it is time for the second edition of the popular tournament which took off previous year. Eight teams, viz. Atletico de Kolkata, Chennaiyin FC, Delhi Dynamos, FC Goa, Kerala Blasters, Mumbai City FC, NorthEast United and FC Pune City, will vie it amongst each other in a home and away table format. Last season, the fixture threw up double headers on certain days where the earlier match would kick-off at 4.30 PM IST, whereas the latter one would see action at 7 PM IST.
Manager: Zico Brazil legend Zico returns to Goa after an eventful first season, where he guided the team to the semis despite a slow start to the campaign. “We have specialised diet charts for each of us and all of us have learnt a great deal in the first year itself”.
How they’ll fare: Easily the best group stage side in 2014, they will hope for a bit more luck this time around.
Atlético de Kolkata defender Augustine Fernandes, who played the entire stretch, was happy about his first brush with the Hero ISL.
Mendy, who will be remembered for his famous bicycle kick goal in the first edition had horrifying 10 minutes where he also conceded a penalty in the 78th minute after he was found to having handled the ball inside the 18-yard box.
“I have not been a defensive coach in my life”.
Since the inception of the I-League in 2007-08, Chhetri has been the only Indian to feature on the season’s top-scorer list. They have good players.
Indian player to watch: Boithang Haokip Haokip is regarded as one of India’s most talented players and his role in the centre of midfield will be crucial.
Chennai: Chennaiyin FC a crown team in the Indian Super League 2015 had been associated with Global Health City for medical partnership.
In addition, the franchise has retained seven players – including two foreigners – from a year ago and signed winger Seityasen Singh during the auctions.