The Hero Indian Super League (ISL) 2022-23 season has got off to a flying start and the opening two Matchweeks have witnessed goals galore. A total of 19 goals were scored across five games in Matchweek 2, similar to the tally from Matchweek 1.

FC Goa, Hyderabad FC and ATK Mohun Bagan secured their first victories of the campaign. On the other hand, defeats for East Bengal FC and NorthEast United FC saw them slip to the last two spots in the standings.

There were plenty of talking points from Matchweek 2 that witnessed some late goals, stunning individual performances, and commendable wins for some of the away teams.

Here are the main talking points:

FC Goa's character shines through in Kolkata

It was heartbreak for East Bengal FC in Kolkata as they suffered a second-straight defeat in Hero ISL 2022-23. The match seemed heading for a draw, but Edu Bedia had other plans.

The veteran midfielder who had threatened goalkeeper Kamaljit Singh on multiple occasions from set-pieces, delivered a dipping free-kick into a dangerous area in injury time, to which the keeper had no chance.

The winning goal may have come across as an unfortunate one for East Bengal FC, but the visitors were rewarded for their persistence. “They (players) had a lot of faith till the last moment,” said FC Goa head coach Carlos Pena, as he praised the character of his side.

Hyderabad FC resume business as usual

The defending Hero ISL champions opened their season with a draw, sharing the spoils in a six-goal thriller against Mumbai City FC. But against NorthEast United FC, Hyderabad FC served a timely reminder of the quality they possess, securing a dominant win in Guwahati.

Although NorthEast United FC tried to make a comeback in the second half, quick-fire goals from Halicharan Narzary and substitute Borja Herrera deflated the Highlanders as Hyderabad FC registered a comfortable win in the end. Manolo Marquez’s side, once again, displayed how ruthless and tough of a side they can be to beat.

With the majority of the players retained from their title-winning season and with new signings, Hyderabad FC look like a force to be reckoned with.

Chennaiyin FC earn vital point

One of the four Hero ISL sides yet to taste defeat this season, the two-time champions couldn’t have asked for a better start. Chennaiyin FC stunned ATK Mohun Bagan in their opening game of the campaign, and then held Bengaluru FC at home in a gritty draw as they played their first home game at the Marina Arena after more than two years.  

Thomas Brdaric’s side had to deal with some difficult moments in the game. Most notably, during the final stages when goalkeeper Debjit Majumder was sent off , with no more substitutions left for CFC. But with the support of the fans, they found strength and overcame the challenge.

Although BFC failed to capitalise on the advantage in personnel, Chennaiyin FC held fort and came away with a crucial point. Brdaric felt that home fans played a part in the result with their support . “When you stick together with fans, the players are able to play in the best professional way. It’s a good sign,” he said.

A landmark feat for Bipin Singh

Mumbai City FC secured their first win of the season in style with a clinical 2-0 win over Odisha FC and goalscorer Bipin Singh emerged one of the standout performers for the Islanders, yet again. In two matches already this season, the dynamic forward has racked up a goal and an assist. 

Bipin found the net against Odisha FC in what was the last kick of the game, but he achieved a momentous feat as well, becoming the joint-leading goalscorer for MCFC in Hero ISL with 15 strikes alongside Modou Sougou. Besides that, Bipin has also tallied nine assists during his time at MCFC.

“My aim is to score many more goals for the club. I am going to work hard towards that target,” he said in an interview after the game. If Mumbai City FC can continue pumping in the goals as evident from their previous two games, expect Bipin to play a big role.

Hat-trick hero Petratos shines in Kochi

When asked about the atmosphere in Kochi ahead of the game against Kerala Blasters, ATK Mohun Bagan’s Dimitri Petratos came up with a bold statement, stating it was an opportunity to silence the home crowd. And he did just that, as he led the way for the Mariners with a sublime hat-trick in what was an epic win for the visitors.

While Petratos was kept quiet in the opening game against Chennaiyin FC, his link up with Liston Colaco, Hugo Boumous, and Joni Kauko caused all sorts of problems for the Blasters during transitions and counter-attacks when KBFC tried to press them high.

Petratos also supplied the assist for Lenny Rodrigues’ goal apart from becoming the first player to bag a hat-trick this season. The Australian has got a perfect platform to build on going ahead, and he will be aiming to bag some more as ATK Mohun Bagan face arch-rivals East Bengal FC next in the Kolkata Derby.