Another match week has gone by in ISL 2021-22, and the points table, though close, has had quite a few changes to it. Tight matches, great defensive displays, last gasp winner, and an everchanging table, this game week had everything. We look back at this match week and its matches and analyse each of them.
Jamshedpur FC secure a last gasp winner against NorthEast United FC
Ishan Pandita broke his duck in Jamshedpur FC colours as his late goal secured a last gasp victory over NorthEast United FC. Khalid Jamil’s depleted side suffered yet another loss, their 6th of the season as they sit 10th in the points table.
The Highlanders got off to a great start after their star forward Deshorn Brown latched on to a through ball by the in-form VP Suhair and slotted it past Pawan Kumar. The Red Miners had many chances to equalise with Greg Stewart, proving a constant menace for the Highlanders. However, it was the Australian Jordan Murray’s header from a Greg Stewart free-kick, which ensured that his side went into the break on level terms.
Jamshedpur FC piled the pressure on NEUFC after the break forcing Mirshad into a couple of good saves. The goal-scorer Jordan Murray turned provider in the 56th minute when his pass across the goal found Boris Singh, who calmly finished into an empty goal to earn his first-ever ISL goal. Jamshedpur FC had a catalogue of chances to double their advantage only to be denied by goalkeeper Mirshad and defender Tomislav Mrcela clearing the ball off the line.
NEUFC looked to have salvaged a point in the first minute of injury time as Deshorn Brown once again got in behind the Jamshedpur FC’s defence and went around the goalkeeper before finishing to get his and NEUFC’s 2nd goal of the night. However, Ishan Pandita, as he has done many times before, donned his super-sub hat once more, latching on to a loose ball in the 6-yard box and smashing it onto the roof of the net to give his side a massive 3 points.
SC East Bengal put on a defensive masterclass against reigning champions
SC East Bengal had a sense of foreboding as they faced reigning champions Mumbai City FC. However, Renedy Singh passed his second assignment as a manager with flying colours as the red and yellow brigade earned a well-deserved point against the Islanders.
As was expected, Mumbai City FC held the lion’s share of possession in early exchanges, with Igor Angulo testing goalkeeper Arindam with his header in the 8th minute. Clear-cut chances were at a premium for both sides in the first half, with MCFC pushing for a goal. MCFC also had a hand-ball shout turned down by the referee when the ball looked to have struck Bikash Jairu’s outstretched arm from a cross.
After the break, MCFC kept pushing on for a breakthrough, with Cassio stinging Arindam’s arms from a long-range effort. However, that was the only shot on goal for the champions as they failed to break down a resolute and determined SCEB defence. SC East Bengal, with just one foreigner, completely shut out a robust attacking unit in MCFC to secure their second draw on the trot.
Renedy Singh has inspired this SC East Bengal side with his presence on the touchline, and his coaching has tightened up SCEB’s organisation and defence on and off the ball.
Derrick Pereira secures his 1st win as FC Goa manager
FC Goa earned a well-deserved win against a lacklustre Chennaiyin FC side to move up in the ISL points table to 9th. Jorge Ortiz’s wonder strike in the 82nd minute ensured Derrick Pereira his first win as FC Goa manager.
Anwar Ali made his much-awaited debut for FC Goa, and new signing Nerijus Valskis made his second debut for Chennaiyin FC. Debjit was called into action multiple times in the first half, coming off his line to thwart Jorge Ortiz in the first big chance of the game for FC Goa and blocking a shot at his near post in the final minute of the half.
FC Goa controlled the game with Edu Bedia and Alberto Noguera constantly on the ball and winning second balls in Chennaiyin’s half. Ortiz, who was a constant threat throughout the half, missed a golden opportunity to put his side in front when his shot after a goalkeeper save went wide of goal.
Edu Bedia stuck the post from his corner early in the second half as FC Goa pushed for a goal. Chennaiyin FC produced very little going forward, with Valskis cutting a frustrated figure with limited chances on offer. CFC found it difficult to string a few passes together with FC Goa’s intense pressing and closing down. To make matters worse, Vladimir Koman came off injured for Chennaiyin FC in the second half.
Just when it looked like Chennaiyin FC might eke out a point, FC Goa translated all their possession and chances into a well-deserved goal. Jorge Ortiz received the ball after a playing one-two with Cabrera and unleashed a curling dipping left-footed drive to beat Debjit and earn his side 3-points and Derrick Pereira a first win.
Kerala Blasters go top for the first time since 2014
Kerala Blasters solidified their credentials this season as they secured a crucial 1-0-win victory over in-form Hyderabad FC. The win meant that Kerala Blasters are top of the ISL table for the first time since 2014.
In a tight opening few minutes, Hyderabad FC found itself on the front foot. Edu Garcia forced Prabhsukhan Gill into a stunning fingertip save onto the crossbar from his free-kick just outside the box. Soon after, Kattimani was called into action at the other end as well. The goalkeeper made a stunning point-blank save to deny Pereyra Diaz.
The attacking quartet of Pereyra Diaz, Luna, Sahal, and Vazquez kept posing problems for Hyderabad FC defence with their movement and passing. However, it was a long throw-in from Khabra that led to the game’s first goal. The long-throw found a flick-on from Sahal and reached Vazquez, who unleashed the cleanest of strikes on the volley to give Kattimani no chance in goal.
As the game progressed, Hyderabad FC kept pushing for an equaliser, with Aniket Jadhav proving a constant threat throughout the game. The winger put in a lively performance that included an effort to beat three defenders on the dribble and shot just above the crossbar. Kerala Blasters had a few chances to double their advantage but could not make the most of it.
Hyderabad FC, at the other end, was denied clear-cut chances as the Kerala Blasters defence held on to extend their unbeaten run to 9 games and go top of the table for the first time since 2014. And the young goalkeeper, Prabhsukhan Gill, has climbed to the top in the Golden Glove race.
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