The Indian Super League's group stage has come to an end. Four teams, namely FC Goa, ATK, Bengaluru FC and Chennaiyin FC have booked their berths in the knockouts. With 90 matches worth of action behind us, Firstpost.com takes a quick look at the stats and numbers from this season so far:
Let's not kid ourselves, goals are all anyone really cares about when it comes to statistics, and on that count, the ISL did not disappoint. There were 274 goals scored across the competition, the highest total since the league was expanded from eight teams to 10 ahead of the 2017-18 season. It's no surprise that the high-octane attack of FC Goa topped the ISL's scoring chart, with the Gaurs banging in 46 goals in 18 matches, at a rate of just over two and a half goals per game.
25 of those 46 goals were scored by just two players, namely Ferran Corominas (14) and Hugo Boumous (11), both of whom have been in excellent form, despite having troubles with injuries. Kerala Blasters' Bartholomew Ogbeche is currently leading the race for the Golden Boot with 15 goals, and fittingly, the French-Nigerian forward has the most shots on target (25) this season. However, there is a chance that his tally of goals could be overtaken in the playoffs, with Corominas, Roy Krishna and Nerijus Valskis all within touching distance. Goa's Boumous is the most creative player in the league, on the basis of stats at least, and is the only person to have a double-figure tally (10) of assists, meaning he has been directly involved in 21 goals.
Attack wins games, defence wins trophies
While FC Goa lead the charts on the offensive front, in defence, they've conceded a lot more goals than their nearest rivals, with both Bengaluru FC and ATK having better defensive records. In terms of defence, Carles Cuadrat's miserly Bengaluru is head and shoulders above the rest, having let in just 13 goals in 18 matches. They also lead the league in terms of clean-sheets, with Gurpreet Singh Sandhu having kept out the opposition on 10 separate occasions, the most for any goalkeeper in the admittedly brief history of the ISL.
Though Bengaluru has the best defensive record in the league, the most robust tacklers are league-leaders FC Goa, whose style of football employs a high-press that is strictly enforced by the team. In that aspect, Moroccan midfielder Ahmed Jahouh has been the Gaur's most vital cog, putting in an astounding 159 tackles over the course of the season, 45 more than next-best Aitor Monroy of Jamshedpur FC. Add to that his 34 interceptions, and the fact that he's one of just three players to have made over a 1000 passes in the league, and it's hard to overstate his importance in the side.
The first leg of the Indian Super League playoffs will take place on 29 February and 1 March. The matches will be broadcast on the Star Sports Network, and you can get live updates on Firstpost.com.
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Updated Date: Feb 28, 2020 19:52:12 IST