From Chennaiyin FC's Kolkata triumph to Hyderabad FC's consistency: Key takeaways from MW5
Matchweek 5 of the Hero Indian Super League (ISL) turned out to be a trailblazer week comprising excitement, frustration, and drama! Along with all this, came the glorious spectacle of teams trying to prove themselves better and make their way further up the league table.
The most intense match in the MW5 was between Mumbai City FC vs ATK Mohun Bagan as it witnessed a 10-men ATKMB holding fort at the Mumbai Football Arena to steal two points from the Islanders after Carl McHugh's late equaliser.
The gameweek began with FC Goa playing their first home game of the season as they claimed a comfortable victory over Jamshedpur FC. Carlos Pena’s side put up three goals on the scoreboard without any reply from the Red Miners. Meanwhile, East Bengal FC lost 0-1 to Chennayin FC in a tight affair at the Vivekananda Yuba Bharti Krirangan in Kolkata.
In Saturday's doubleheader, Hyderabad FC retained their place on top as the league leaders clinched a close 1-0 victory against Odisha FC. Then, Kerala Blasters FC traveled to Guwahati to take all three points from NorthEast United FC in a 3-0 win as they put an end to their 3-game winless streak.
In the final match of the gameweek, ATK Mohun Bagan traveled to Mumbai eyeing for their first-ever win against Mumbai City FC. But they had to settle for a draw as the match ended 2-2.
With four teams registering clean sheets and charging up their way towards the top, here are the key takeaways from Matchweek 5:
Carlos Pena's prolific FC Goa
FC Goa raced into the lead in the first two minutes as Iker Guarrotxena converted Edu Bedia’s cross. They doubled their lead shortly after the goal as Brandon Fernandes played Noah Sadaoui through to the goal, and the Moroccon showed composure in front of the goal and put it past beautifully. The Gaurs finally put the game to bed as Brison Fernandes rifled past TP Rehenesh in the 93rd minute and sealed a comfortable victory.
JFC head coach Aidy Boothroyd will have to reassess his side's tactics as they are ninth in the standings and face league leaders, Hyderabad FC, in the upcoming fixture. Boothroyd revealed that his plan went out of the window as the team conceded two early goals and his side had to chase the game throughout.
Two out of two for Chennaiyin in Kolkata
Thomas Brdaric’s side traveled to Kolkata in search of their next victory against East Bengal FC. The animated match saw teams going in ruthlessly on every tackle, with the fans cheering every face-off between the players. Both teams had a player sent off as Chennayin FC’s Vafa Hakhamaneshi was sent off for excessive celebrations after he gave his side the lead in the 69th minute. The Red and Gold brigade also had to finish the match with 10 men as Sarthak Golui was sent off in the 74th minute as they chased the game.
The Marina Machans notched all six points in their visit to Kolkata, becoming the first-ever Hero ISL side to do so, and that will bode well for Brdaric's men in the upcoming games. On the contrary, this was East Bengal FC’s fourth defeat of the season. Head coach Stephen Constantine asked everyone to be patient and give his players time as he showed belief in the team’s fighting spirit.
Hyderabad FC show no signs of stopping
Hyderabad FC extended their lead on the table and nabbed their fourth consecutive victory and clean sheet after beating Odisha FC 1-0 at the G.M.C Balayogi Athletic Stadium in Hyderabad. The reigning Hero ISL champions marched to victory as Mohammad Yasir gave them an early lead after converting Halicharan Nazary’s cross in the 8th minute. Manuel Marquez was pleased with the performance and showed delight as the team sit on top with four points clear of FC Goa in second place.
Despite the loss, Josep Gombau called on his team that showed character and fought till the very end against the league leaders. Odisha FC now sit in fourth place on the table as they share the points with FC Goa and Mumbai City FC, and only trail on the goal difference.
The Blasters put an end to their winless run
Kerala Blasters FC returned to winning ways after three straight defeats as they beat the Highlanders 3-0 at the Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium in Guwahati. Ivan Vukomanovic’s team struggled in the first half to break the deadlock as Marco Balbul’s team kept on knocking on Prabhsukhan Gill’s goal. The first goal came after halftime, as Dimitrios Diamantakos’s right-foot effort gave them the lead only for a stunning two-goal cameo by Abdul Sahal Ahmed to give Kerala Blasters FC all three points.
As for NorthEast United FC, things are not looking good as they sunk to their fifth consecutive defeat. Assistant coach Paul Groves said the opening goal changed the outcome of the game and called on his team to start taking the chances coming their way.
Late drama steals the show for the Islanders
Mumbai City FC and ATK Mohun Bagan locked horns for the first time this season to grab all the bragging rights in this high-stakes fixture. Although McHugh's late goal stole their thunder, the Islanders were able to kept their unbeaten record intact against a 10-men Mariners, as Lenny Rodrigues saw a red card.
Des Buckingham felt his team created enough chances to win the game and was pleased with the performance against a strong ATK Mohun Bagan side. On the other hand, Juan Ferrando expressed his delight with a hard-fought point against Mumbai City FC. They secured a point from a difficult away ground and against an opponent where they have only managed to draw two out of six times they have played against them.