From dominant Mumbai City FC's to heroic Naorem Mahesh Singh: Takeaways from Matchweek 8
The Hero Indian Super League (ISL) table had started to take shape as teams consolidated their position in the matchweek 8 that too maintained the 2022-23 season’s legacy of not seeing a goalless draw.
16 goals were scored across five games and just two teams got a clean sheet. From late comebacks to having a new team at the top, matchweek 8 had everything.
Odisha FC extended their 100% winning streak at home as they beat Chennaiyin FC 3-2. Mumbai City FC became the league leaders with a comfortable 3-1 win over NorthEast United FC. Bengaluru FC found their much needed win after six matches as they beat FC Goa 2-0. The problems of scoring still persists for Hyderabad FC as they went down 0-1 to ATK Mohun Bagan. East Bengal FC got another away win as they eased past Jamshedpur FC with a scoreline 3-1.
With yet another Matchweek coming to a close, here are the key takeaways from the Matchweek 8:
Odisha FC show powers of recover again
Another matchweek and another comeback for the Juggernauts. Previously, Odisha FC made a comeback after going down 0-2 against Jamshedpur FC, 0-1 against Kerala Blasters FC and 0-2 against East Bengal FC to win all three matches. As against their norm, Odisha FC scored two early goals against Chennaiyin FC but when the visitors equalised in the 90th minute, Odisha FC showed their powers of recovery as usual and got their win. The win over the Marina Machans also ensured that the Kalinga stadium remains fortified in this season so far as the hosts have won all three matches at the venue this season. Josep Gombau's team got their three points, reached the third position in the table and are just three points away from the table toppers after seven matches.
Mumbai City FC scale the summit
Mumbai City FC have become the team who have scored the most number of Goals after eight matches in Hero ISL history as they netted three more goals in Guwahati in their 3-1 win. So far, the Islanders have scored 23 goals with 11 different goalsscorers on the list.
In this match, Mumbai city FC had 13 shots on goals which is their highest tally so far in a single match this season. They dominated the team with 690 Passes and 88% passing accuracy, another first for them in this season. This complete performance earned them the first place in the points table and they remain the only team that is unbeaten in the Hero ISL 2022-23.
A fresh start on the cards for Bengaluru FC.
Simon Grayson's Bengaluru FC got their much-needed win and the Blues have done it by breaking various unpleasant streaks. Bengaluru FC ended their five-match winless and four-match goalless run. The Blues also nabbed their first clean sheet since their season opener and also handed the Gaurs their first home defeat of the season. It was also their first win over FC Goa in seven matches. The Hero of the match Javi Hernandez scored a brace and made Goa his hunting ground as he scored all his 11 goals in the coastal state. The Blues started their season with a win in the matchweek 1 but they waited till matchweek 8 to get their second. The fans hope this is a new start for the season rather than an one-off result.
Hyderabad FC fear the curse of champions
Hyderabad FC faced their second consecutive defeat against ATK Mohun Bagan and lost the league -leader status to Mumbai City FC. No single team in the league's history has managed to defend their title so far. Though various reasons are attached to it, being content with their past success is a vital one. Manulo Marquez seems to agree with this point in the post-match press conference.
"No team has won back to back titles in the Hero ISL. Maybe, now I know the answer to why no team has won back to back titles. In our case, my players do not seem hungry to repeat last year’s feat," he said.
Statistics paint a similar picture, the defending champions had only a solitary shot on target in the match against ATK Mohun Bagan and failed to find the back of the net for two matches in a row. Hyderabad FC has the lowest number of goals for any team in the top six.
Need an assist? Call Naorem Mahesh Singh.
A record was created in Jamshedpur on Sunday as Naorem Mahesh Singh became the first Indian to have a hat-trick of assists in a single game. With these three assists, Naorem Mahesh Singh is the joint highest assist provider in the league at this point along with the likes of Dimitri Petratos and Greg Stewart. While the numbers speak for themselves, the quality of crosses into the boxes made this performance stand out from the rest. This matured performance earned him the Hero of the match, despite Cleiton Silva netting two goals. When asked about his confidence level ahead of the match in the press conference, the 23 year old said, "It's all about giving my best for the team and learning from this. I guess I will score in this game again."
Although he didn't score, he certainly made a mark in the Hero ISL history with his wonderful left foot.