From Mariners' Kolkata derby win to Mehtab Singh's milestone: Key takeaways from MW4
Matchweek 4 of the Hero Indian Super League (ISL) 2022-23 season delivered yet another astounding spectacle, with teams eager to climb up the table and get their season up and running.
No points were shared in this matchweek as one team established a superiority over the other but the margin on most occasions was as small as possible.
The matchweek began with Odisha FC’s 1-0 win over Bengaluru FC followed by a defeat at the JLN Stadium in Kochi for Kerala Blasters FC, as Mumbai City FC emerged victorious in a 2-0 win. Meanwhile, Hyderabad FC continued their dominance as they beat FC Goa 1-0, and ATK Mohun extended their splendid 100% win record over arch-rivals East Bengal FC in a 2-0 win.
Jamshedpur FC clinched their first three points of the season and climbed up the table as they beat NorthEast United FC 1-0 and concluded matchweek 4.
With five teams registering clean sheets and charging up the way through their table, here are the key takeaways from Matchweek 4:
Odisha FC showing their fluid style of football under Gombau
Josep Gombau’s men were the showrunners in their fixture against Bengaluru FC as they romped up to a 1-0 victory. While it was end-to-end action in the second half, Odisha FC’s exploits in the first half were enough to put the Blues in the backseat after Nandhakumar Sekar’s stunning strike gave them the lead.
As for Bengaluru FC, head coach Simon Grayson has work to do as they lost their second successive game. While Grayson did make some tweaks in the formation, it didn’t deliver the necessary results for his side. With a break in matchweek 5, Grayson has ample time to refresh his team and come out as a better side when they play East Bengal FC.
Mehtab Singh becomes the first Indian player to win three consecutive HOTM awards
The Islanders remained the only unbeaten team alongside Hyderabad FC after matchweek 4 as they cruised past the Blasters in a 2-0 victory in Kochi. Two rapid goals from Mehtab Singh and Jorge Pereyra Diaz in the first half sealed the deal for Des Buckingham’s side after a terrific attacking display while Singh became the first Indian player to win three back-to-back Hero of the Match awards after his stunning performances in the defence and his goal contribution in the attack.
On the contrary, the Blasters slumped to their third successive defeat in the league, with two of those coming at home. Head coach Ivan Vukomanovic will not be pleased with the performances and will be keen on straightening out the issues in his side.
Hyderabad FC continue their dominance
The reigning Hero ISL champions marched to their third victory of the season as they notched all three points in a thrilling 1-0 win over FC Goa who had a perfect record coming into the match. The Yellow and Blacks found the goal early on in the opening 15 minutes of the game through a Javier Siverio strike and managed to keep the Gaurs quiet for the rest of the game. Carlos Pena’s men had more possession and were constantly on the lookout for openings until the last minute of the game but failed to penetrate the Hyderabad FC defence.
Despite the loss, Pena has the team playing in a positive way and will quickly shift focus onto the next game as they open matchweek 5 with their first home game of the season against Jamshedpur FC.
ATK Mohun Bagan extend their 100% win record against East Bengal FC
Kolkata hosted its first-ever Hero ISL Kolkata derby at the Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan that split the stadium in two halves: one in green and maroon and the other in red and gold, and the Mariners were the winners in an effervescent encounter. The first half was an even one where Juan Ferrando’s men piled the pressure on their arch-rivals in the opening minutes but East Bengal FC managed to thwart their opponents. In the second half, the stadium erupted in joy as ATK Mohun Bagan put two back-to-back goals past the East Bengal FC net, one from Hugo Boumous and the other from Manvir Singh. Stephen Constantine’s men managed to fight back but were unable to get past the ATK Mohun Bagan defence.
The win saw ATK Mohun Bagan climb to the fourth place with six points along with a game in hand whereas East Bengal FC went down to the ninth position with three points.
Jamshedpur FC post their first win of the season
The Men of Steel collected their first three points of the season after a comfortable 1-0 win over NorthEast United FC. Skipper Peter Hartley’s headed goal in the first half was enough to deliver the win as they outplayed the Highlanders in all departments. With a first win under Aidy Boothroyd’s guardianship, the defending Hero ISL League Winners will be aiming to collect more points on board.
Moreover, Marco Balbul’s side have not had the best of starts, as they remain the only team to register points on the table. Having played four games this season so far, Balbul is yet to find a fix in the team that can win him the first three points of the season and will now face Kerala Blasters FC in matchweek 5.