Mumbai City FC – Two times ISL Shield Winners!
Following the 5-3 victory at Fatorda, Mumbai City FC have become the ISL League Shield Winners for the second time in only the fourth year of the shield’s existence. Buckingham’s men once again galored goals in the first half, leaving the scoreline to read 3-2 in their favour after a feisty first forty-five.
The game ended 5-3 which also included Chhangte’s converted penalty. This made him the first-ever Indian to score 10 goals in an ISL season. Whereas Greg Stewart won his second consecutive ISL League Winners Shield and is on course to potentially win a consecutive Best Player of the Season as well.
The CFG-owned side has gone unbeaten in the league so far – a run that has extended to 18 games. One more unbeaten game means they will break the record of Tanmay Ghosh’s East Bengal of NFL 2003-04. That dream team had set a run of 18 unbeaten games – an Indian top-flight record. Buckingham’s side still has two games to go.
Just a reminder, that they aren’t guaranteed the ACL spot yet. They will face Jamshedpur FC (2021-22 Shield Winners) in a play-off for that.
Derby Delight and Disappointment
Kerala Blasters set the tempo for the week with a 2-1 home victory against Chennaiyin FC, who are having playoff struggles of their own. As things stand, the knockouts are becoming a far-fetched possibility with each passing fixture. KBFC’s #1 Prabhsukhan Gill made a comeback and immediately proved his worth with his breath-taking saves.
While there was a lot of buzz around the Kanteerava, Blasters again failed to open their winning account on the ground they often try to seek approval from. Rahul KP had scored in the Chennaiyin game, but neither he nor anyone between Luna, Kaliyuzhni, Hormipam, or Diamantakos could produce any derby magic. Roy Krishna scored a solitary first-half goal which proved to be enough for the visitors.
Earlier, Hyderabad FC had lost 3-1 to Odisha FC. Blasters had the chance to atleast put some pressure on Hyderabad but they couldn’t.
Grayson’s Blues Hot on Wheels!
After a torrid start to the season, Simon Grayson’s Bengaluru FC have extended their winning run to six games. The Derby victory against Kerala Blasters saw them equal their six games winning run in the title-winning season under Carles Cuadrat (2018-19).
Next up for the Blues is Mumbai City FC, against whom they won’t have Roy Krishna.
Another Glove-fest at the Furnace
Every now and then, the JRD Tata Sports Complex produces absolute spectacles. Thursday night saw the neighbors (the Mariners) and two corporate giants go head-to-head in Jamshedpur. The scoreline was left unbothered but the performances from both the keepers made the match reminiscent of the one between Jamshedpur and Bengaluru. The Mariners had a glorious chance to put one past Rehenesh when Petratos took a corner quickly toward Brendan Hamill. However, he headed it wide.
The fate of Aidy Boothroyd’s side is sealed but Juan Ferrando’s team still have a playoff spot to seal.
A win after two months
Chennaiyin hosted East Bengal at the Marina Arena for the very first time. Goals from Kwame Karikari and Rahim Ali gave them a 2-0 win over East Bengal. The club’s last win came in December against NorthEast United.
Thomas Brdaric’s side has been struggling with various factors. It’s really an unusual outcome as they are well outside the playoff race.
Odisha hand Hyderabad shock defeat
Hyderabad FC’s eight-game unbeaten run came to a halt at the hands of Odisha FC. The Kalinga Warriors managed to put three in Gurmeet Singh’s net featuring a rifled strike from Isak in the 33rd minute. Nim Dorjee managed to score for both sides in each half before a late Diego Mauricio effort sealed the victory for OFC.
3-3 rollercoaster at the YBKS
Before landing in Chennai, East Bengal played out an intriguing 3-3 draw with Vincenzo’s Northeast United. The Highlanders have been in turmoil since the beginning. However, the squad they assembled wasn’t even that bad. They sacked Marco Bulbul and ever since Vincenzo Alberto Annese has taken over, the team’s attack has flourished. Northeast United are probably one of the most exciting teams to watch since the last month. However, in a piece of unfortunate news, centre-back Gaurav Bora is out for the rest of the season.
Whereas things never seem to be good in East Bengal. Head Coach Stephen Constantine came out last week and openly said that he doesn’t have playoff-worthy players. It’s the exact same as what Robbie Fowler repeated incessantly in East Bengal’s inaugural season in ISL. Both teams are out of the playoff race.
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