The fourth match week of ISL 2023–24 concluded with Chennaiyin FC defeating Hyderabad FC at the Gachibowli stadium to record their first victory of the campaign. From Jhingan’s debut ISL goal to Connor Shields’ brilliance, we examine some significant moments and crucial events from this dramatic week as another week of drama plays out.
Victor Rodriguez stars as FC Goa extend their perfect run
In the opening match of the week, FC Goa defeated East Bengal FC in a remarkable fashion to extend their winning streak in the ISL to three matches. While Naorem Mahesh’s magnificent strike gave East Bengal the lead in the 41st minute, the Gaurs responded by striking twice in two minutes in the second half to take the lead and ultimately win the game. After ten long years of waiting, Sandesh Jhingan finally scored his maiden ISL goal. Carles Cuadrat’s side has suffered back-to-back defeats after earning four points in the first two games.
Victor Rodriguez was one of FC Goa’s standout players. Noah Sadaoui, who suffered an injury during pre-match warmups, was replaced by the Spaniard. The Moroccan winger’s significant impact on the Gaurs’ style of play makes Noah’s replacement a difficult task. However, Victor rose to the challenge, scoring the equalizing goal, his first goal for the Gaurs in ISL. He also assisted Sandesh Jhingan for the second goal to complete the comeback. The Spanish attacking midfielder has registered three goal contributions in three games in ISL so far.
Danish Farooq steps up for Blasters
The second encounter of the match week ended in a 1-1 tie between Northeast United FC and Kerala Blasters FC. In the 12th minute, Nestor Albiach’s cheeky finish gave the Highlanders an early lead. However, Danish Farooq headed in Adrian Luna’s free-kick early in the second half to tie the score for the Blasters. Blasters dropped points at home for the first time this season, while Northeast increased their winning streak to three games in ISL.
Danish left rivals Bengaluru FC in January 2023 to join the Blasters for an undisclosed transfer price. However, he had a difficult start, making only one start in the league for the club last season. However, he has started every game this season and has performed excellently in midfield alongside Jeakson Singh/Vibin Mohanan netting two goals in four games in ISL this season. This season, the midfielder has been the Blasters’ primary goal threat on set pieces. With Jeakson out for a few months, Danish will have even more responsibility, which he will gladly embrace.
Jamshedpur’s struggle for goals continue
Jamshedpur FC and newly promoted side Punjab FC drew 0-0 at the furnace in the third game of the match week. Both teams created a lot of opportunities, and both of them ultimately missed out on taking advantage of them. Staikos Vergetis’ side, has now accrued two points from its last two games after having a challenging start to the season while Jamshedpur FC is placed sixth in the table with 5 points from 4 games.
Although Scott Cooper’s team has displayed outstanding tenacity in defense, it hasn’t shown much potential in front of goal. In the first four games, the Red Miners had only managed to score one goal, which was a direct free-kick from Rei Tachikawa. Concerns arose after Croatian striker Petar Sliskovic sustained an injury and was declared out for the season. He was replaced by French striker Steven Ambri, who displayed some positive signs in his first game for the club. Scott Cooper would be counting on new acquisition Steve to step up and end the team’s goal-scoring worries.
Coyle’s Chennaiyin is finally off the mark
At the home field of the Nizams, Gachibowli Stadium, Chennaiyin FC defeated Hyderabad FC 1-0 in the match week’s final game. Before this match, Chennaiyin FC had lost three straight games. This was the team’s first victory in the 2023–2024 ISL season. Connor Shields’ goal in the seventh minute remained the difference between the two sides. On the flip side, Hyderabad has lost all of its games so far this season and is currently sitting at the bottom of the standings.
Even though the Marina Machans won all three points, their performance fell short of expectations. Around the hour mark, Owen switched to a 4-4-2 formation after starting the match with a 3-5-2 formation. The Hyderabad team, with 68% of the possession had more shots and overwhelmed them. However, Owen Coyle’s team demonstrated defensive resiliency, something they failed to display in the first three games. Like Jamshedpur FC, Hyderabad FC’s goal-scoring prowess is a cause for concern, since they have only managed one goal in three ISL games this campaign. Thangboi Singto and Connor Nestor will be hoping that the return of Costa Rican striker Jonathan Moya will improve their attack in upcoming games.
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