FC Goa's steely defence, evergreen Chhetri and more: Key Takeaways from matchweek 8
Macthweek 8 of the ISL 2023-24 was a week of contrasts. From goals galore to exceptional defense, here are the key takeaways from the week.
Matchweek 8 of the Indian Super League (ISL) 2023-24 season was filled with intense action and goals. The week featured two remarkable comebacks to secure a point each, 12 goals in only its opening two matches, and a brilliant five-goal triumph in its concluding match.
The week kicked off with Kerala Blasters FC hosting Chennaiyin FC, and it ended in a 3-3 draw, showcasing a brilliant tactical display by both head coaches.
Bengaluru FC exhibited incredible composure as they snatched a point from Punjab FC, denying them their first win in the ISL.
Odisha FC lit the Furnace when they edged past Jamshedpur FC to secure their fourth win of the season.
Mohun Bagan Super Giant, unbeaten so far this season, and Hyderabad FC, winless so far this season, both continued their respective streaks when the Mariners secured a 2-0 win at the Kalinga Stadium.
In the penultimate game of the week, FC Goa toppled the Blasters narrowly to capture the top spot in the league table.
To wrap up matchweek 8, East Bengal FC thrashed NorthEast United FC 5-0 to get back to winning ways, bagging their second win of the season.
Here are the key takeaways from matchweek 8:
Rahim Ali into the history books
Ali opened the scoring in the six-goal thriller between the south Indian rivals when Chennaiyin FC travelled to the Jawaharlal Nehru International Stadium in Kochi for matchweek 8.
He found the back of the net only 54 seconds into the match, scoring the fastest goal of ISL 2023-24 so far. Although Kerala Blasters FC managed to secure a point from the fixture, owing to Dimitrios Diamantakos' heroics, Ali was the man writing his name in the league’s history books. He became the second fastest goalscorer ever for the Marina Machans, following Anirudh Thapa, who scored a goal only after 53 seconds during their clash against Jamshedpur FC back in November 2020.
Captain Fantastic, the face of the Blues
In the second match of the week, at the Sree Kanteerava Stadium in Bangalore, Bengaluru FC and Punjab FC displayed a similar football to the one played the day before. Having gone down by 3-1, the Blues found themselves back in the game and managed to deny the Shers all three points. The match witnessed all of its six goals come from different players, but a name common among two goals, Bengaluru FC’s opener, and their equaliser, was Sunil Chhetri, who assisted both.
This was the tenth time that Sunil Chhetri recorded two goal contributions in an ISL game. Having won eight out of those ten outings while drawing the remaining two, his team has managed to remain unbeaten on each of those occasions.
Roy Krishna, Jamshedpur FC's nemesis
Building on the momentum from their dominating win over Mohun Bagan Super Giant in the AFC Cup group stage, the Juggernauts edged past Jamshedpur FC, 1-0, when the two sides met at the JRD Tata Sports Complex in Jamshedpur for their matchweek 8 clash.
Scoring the winner in this fixture, Roy Krishna has now bagged eight goals against Jamshedpur FC, the most he has scored against a single team in ISL history. It's also the most goals scored by any player against the Red Miners in the league.
Unexpected names on the scoresheet for Mohun Bagan Super Giant
At the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar, Mohun Bagan Super Giant and Hyderabad FC played a thrilling match with either side failing to break the deadlock up until the 85th minute. That’s when the backline of the Mariners took charge of game, scoring two goals in the next 11 minutes (including added time).
Both Brendan Hamill and Asish Rai recorded their maiden ISL goals in the game, proving how dependable the defenders can be for the Mariners when the forwards fail to score.
A defensive masterclass from FC Goa
In the top-of-the-table clash between FC Goa and Kerala Blasters FC at the Fatorda Stadium in Goa, the Gaurs edged past the Blasters in a 1-0 win to seal themselves the top spot on the league table.
Veteran midfielder Rowllin Borges scored the winner for FC Goa but their defensive display was what came under the spotlight. They have kept a clean sheet in each of their last four games in the ISL. The only time they recorded a longer run of games without conceding a goal was a run of five games between January 28, 2019, and February 18, 2019.
East Bengal FC secure their biggest win in the ISL
The Red and Gold Brigade defeated NorthEast United FC when the two sides met in the matchweek 8 at the Salt Lake Stadium in Kolkata. With braces coming from Cleiton Silva and Nandhakumar Sekar, alongside a Borja Herrera goal, the football giants from Kolkata have displayed their best performance in ISL history.
East Bengal FC have secured their biggest win in the ISL with their 5-0 demolition of the Highlanders. Previously they had only managed wins with a maximum of two-goal margins.