From Kerala Blasters FC's winning run to Fortress Kalinga: Takeaways from Matchweek 9

The Hero Indian Super League (ISL) is slowly inching towards the half-way point where the teams looked to get themselves in position to fight for a spot in the top six.

In another matchweek without a goalless draw, 14 goals were scored across five games, with two teams keeping clean sheets and Mumbai City FC consolidating their position at the top of the table with an emphatic victory over FC Goa.

Matchweek 9 began with a solid win for Mumbai City FC when they beat FC Goa with a margin of 4-1. Odisha FC continued their fine run of form with a 2-1 win over struggling NorthEast United FC, who are yet to gain a point in the 2022-23 season. Hyderabad FC won 3-1 away at Chennaiyin FC to get back on track. It was a tough outing for Bengaluru FC, who fell short of ATK Mohun Bagan at home, losing 1-0 to the Mariners. Kerala Blasters FC rounded off the matchweek with a fourth consecutive victory in the league as they gained all three points against Jamshedpur FC with a 1-0 away win.

As another matchweek concludes, here are the key takeaways from matchweek 9:

Mumbai City FC consolidate top spot

Mumbai City FC continued their fine run of scoring goals in every game after running rampant against FC Goa with a 4-1 win. The Islanders have now scored 27 goals in nine games this season as they won their fourth consecutive match in the Hero ISL. It has become norm for Mumbai City FC to find the back of the net, and talisman forward Jorge Pereyra Diaz knew everything about it when he opened the scoring in the first half, but FC Goa hit right back with an equaliser before Lallianzuala Chhangte continued his form to give Mumbai City FC the lead just before halftime.

Pereyra hit back in the second half to add a brace to his name, and Mumbai City FC’s Spanish midfielder Alberto Noguera found the net to round off another win for his team.

Kalinga Stadium remains a fortress for Odisha FC

Odisha FC are quite known for their comeback heroics in the Hero ISL 2022-23 season, but the Juggernauts were the ones to open the scoring in matchweek 9 when they took on NorthEast United FC, who have yet to confirm a point in the new season themselves. Wingers Nandhakumar Sekar and Jerry Mawihmingthanga were again on the scoresheet for Odisha FC, while Rochharzela scored a consolation goal for the Highlanders, who have struggled to find a positive result this season.

The Kalinga Stadium continues to be a happy hunting ground for the home team as Odisha FC have won all four matches at the venue. They have a stunning record at home in the Hero ISL and it could form the base of their playoff bid.

Hyderabad FC get back to winning ways

If the first half at Chennai's Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium was lackluster, the second half was the complete opposite when Hyderabad FC decided to take control of the game. Goals from Halicharan Narzary, Chinglensana Singh, and Borja Herrera were enough to ensure three points, and get them (Hyderabad FC) back to winning ways against Chennaiyin FC after two successive defeats. The win also helped them close the gap at the top of the table to two points. Petar Sliskovic scored the only goal for Marina Machans, who had a man (Ajith Kumar) sent off in the second half.

ATK Mohun Bagan gain momentum with back to back wins and clean sheets

When Bengaluru FC locked horns against ATK Mohun Bagan at the Sree Kanteerava Stadium, it seemed like a tight affair for the first hour before Mariners’ Australian forward, Dimitri Petratos, took matters in his own hands as he scored the only goal of the match, 20 minutes into the second half, which helped his side win all three points in their aim to progress through the playoffs, all while keeping back to back clean sheets for the first time this season and just for the second time under head coach Juan Ferrando. 

Kerala Blasters FC's best-ever winning run continues

Kerala Blasters FC kept up with their sensational form in the Hero ISL after three consecutive defeats earlier in the season. The Tuskers, with their fourth consecutive win (their longest winning streak in their history) in the league, gained another three points and consolidated their position in the top six in the standings.

Kerala Blasters FC’s Greek forward Dimitrios Diamantakos scored the opener in the first half against Jamshedpur FC to ensure victory and another clean sheet to keep going.

“We need to continue with our consistency and work on how we want to achieve certain things,” said a delighted Kerala Blasters FC head coach, Ivan Vukomanovic.

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