Benali masterclass, Silva magic and more: Key takeaways from Matchweek 2
The 2nd matchweek of the Indian Super League 2023-24 season lived up to its expectations. Some incredible matches along with a lot of intense moments were the highlights of this matchweek.
The matchweek two of the Indian Super League (ISL) 2023-24 season lived up to its expectations. Some incredible matches along with a lot of intense moments were the highlights of this matchweek.
Matchweek 2 started with Mohun Bagan Super Giant defeating Bengaluru FC by a 1-0 scoreline with two red cards also being dished out to Bengaluru FC players Suresh Singh Wangjam and Naorem Roshan Singh.
Sergio Lobera's refreshed Odisha FC side drew 2-2 against Des Buckingham's Mumbai City FC team in a classic high-stakes encounter before NorthEast United FC surprised Owen Coyle's Chennaiyin FC team as they won the game by a 3-0 scoreline with Parthib Gogoi scoring another wonder goal.
East Bengal FC then beat a new Hyderabad FC team by a 2-1 scoreline via a Cleiton Silva free kick in the dying minutes of the game before Kerala Blasters FC beat a defensively solid Jamshedpur FC team by a 1-0 scoreline after intense attacking moments during the match.
The week concluded with FC Goa beating Punjab FC 1-0 with a well-worked goal by the new FC Goa Spanish striker, Carlos Martinez.
As the dust settles on an intense matchweek, here are the key takeaways from Matchweek 2:
Hugo Boumous shines in Mohun Bagan Super Giant win
Mohun Bagan Super Giant played their second match of the ISL 2023-24 season against Bengaluru FC and won by a margin of 1-0. A goal from Hugo Boumous was enough to seal the three points for the Mariners.
Boumous was everywhere on the pitch during the match. He worked on creating spaces for his teammates to score throughout the game. They were thwarted every time by a solid defensive block from Bengaluru FC. Mohun Bagan Super Giant found spaces to attack Bengaluru FC during the first half, however, they could not convert their chances. In the second half however, Boumous got himself into those attacking spaces which resulted in him scoring the decisive goal for Mohun Bagan Super Giant and his team winning the game.
Mohun Bagan Super Giant went top of the league with the victory.
Ahmed Jahouh gives Islanders a taste of their own medicine
Odisha FC and Mumbai City FC played out a 2-2 draw against each other with goals from Jerry Mawihmingthanga, and Roy Krishna for Odisha FC and goals from Rostyn Griffiths and Jorge Pereyra Diaz for Mumbai City FC.
Ahmed Jahouh caused huge problems for his former team Mumbai City FC defence throughout the game. He played largely as a defensive playmaker and broke the Mumbai City FC defensive lines at every chance he got. His passing ability became a major headache for Mumbai City FC as they eventually had to change their shape to a more pragmatic 4-4-2 in the second half of the game.
However, Jahouh took advantage of this shape when he crafted a beautiful pass from a setpiece into the feet of Roy Krishna who got fouled in the box in the process. Krishna scored from the resulting penalty to put Odisha FC ahead in the game. Jahouh was successful in dragging Mumbai City FC midfielders out of position with his smart positioning throughout the game.
A Juan Pedro Benali masterclass in a NorthEast United FC victory
NorthEast United FC emerged 3-0 victors against Chennaiyin FC thanks to goals from Parthib Gogoi, Phalguni Singh and Asheer Akhtar.
Juan Pedro Benali's major tactical strength was the flexibility of his team's attacking setup. When Chennaiyin FC looked to use the width of the pitch, the NorthEast United FC forwards played narrow to use the spaces that had opened up in the Chennaiyin FC defence. When Chennaiyin FC looked to play narrow in the second half, the Highlanders looked to use the width to cause problems for the defence of the Marina Machans. The Highlanders possessed a variety of solutions to beat Chennaiyin FC
Benali used another clever tactic when he substituted defensive midfielder Bemmamer and brought on defender Yaser Hamed to replace him and shifted defender Asheer Akhtar to the defensive midfield position. This reaped its reward when Asheer Akhtar scored the final goal of the match to seal the win for NorthEast United FC.
This was the first-ever ISL victory for the Highlanders by a three-goal margin since the first season of the ISL in 2014. The last time they scored three goals and won the game was also against Chennaiyin FC.
East Bengal FC's first ISL victory under Carles Cuadrat
Easy Bengal FC emerged 2-1 victors against Hyderabad FC in their second match of the ISL 2023-24 season. Two goals from the Brazilian maestro Cleiton Silva were enough to win the three points for the Red and Gold Brigade.
Hyderabad FC scored early in the game with a goal by Hitesh Sharma. However, not long after the first goal, East Bengal FC equalised through Cleiton Silva. A free-kick goal in the dying minutes of the game by Cleiton Silva gave the home side their first three points of the season.
With Silva's last-minute goal, he became the player who has won the most points for his club in the ISL, more than any other player who has played in the league.
"I think both teams, East Bengal FC and Hyderabad FC fought, but ultimately, you can say that the brilliance of one player, Cleiton Silva, made a difference," Hyderabad FC head coach Thanboi Singto praised Silva in the post-match press conference.
A first for Kerala Blasters FC
Kerala Blasters FC beat a defensively solid Jamshedpur FC by a 1-0 scoreline. A goal from Adrian Luna was enough to seal the three points for the team from Kerala.
The match was largely in favour of Kerala who attacked Jamshedpur FC relentlessly. Jamshedpur FC defended well however a goal by Adrian Luna in the 74th minute meant that the game opened up a little more Jamshedpur FC started attacking a lot more but Kerala Blasters FC managed to hold on to their lead and win the game.
This victory meant that Kerala Blasters FC have, for the first time ever, won their first two ISL matches of a season.
Their inconsistent run in the first two games extended upto the 2015-16 season which was the first time when they had won their opening league match.
That season Kerala Blasters FC beat NorthEast United FC by a 3-1 scoreline in their opening game of the season. However, they drew their next game against Mumbai City FC by a 0-0 scoreline.
Another ISL record for FC Goa
FC Goa started their ISL 2023-24 campaign with a win over Punjab FC. A goal from Spanish striker Carlos Martinez was enough for the Gaurs to take the three points.
FC Goa started the game on the attack and got rewarded for their efforts with a well-worked goal by Martinez. From that point on Punjab FC could not get a foothold on the game and though they had a few good chances of their own, they could not take advantage of those chances.
Martinez was the key performer of the match as he completed 23 of his 29 passes, crossed once and tackled once and created a number of good goalscoring chances.
Manolo Marquez's first win as FC Goa head coach helped to extend this already impressive streak to an even greater number. This undefeated run extended upto the 2017-18 season.