Gameweek 1 wrap: Ogbeche masterclass, ATK's 100th, Gyan's debut and more
One couldn’t have asked for a better start to the Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL) 2019-20 season. The first five matches of the campaign saw teams exhibit supreme verve and passion to put forth some memorable matches already. Kerala Blasters, Jamshedpur FC and FC Goa all recorded home wins, while defending champions, Bengaluru FC had to settle for a point in a thrilling clash against Robert Jarni’s NorthEast United at the Sree Kanteerava. Mumbai City FC were the only away side to register a victory as they bested Kerala in the final match of the first round.
Looking back, here are the highlights from Gameweek 1.
- McHugh scores new season’s first and ATK’s 100th Hero ISL goal
With Kerala hosting ATK in the opener, most would have gone for either a Bartholomew Ogbeche or a Roy Krishna to register Hero ISL 2019-20 season’s first goal. However, it was 26-year-old Irishman Carl McHugh who got the goal counter ticking with a brilliant volley to put the visitors in the lead and stunned the vociferous crowd at Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Kochi momentarily. The strike was also incidentally ATK’s 100th goal in the Hero ISL.
- Ogbeche single-handedly guides Kerala to victory
Despite being with the Blasters for just over a few months, Bartholomew Ogbeche has already taken over the mantle of the club's talisman. The pressure of shouldering the aspirations and expectations of the Blasters' huge fanbase is no mean task, but the 35-year-old hardly let it show in the opening match, scoring twice in the first-half to help Kerala get their campaign off to a winning start.
- Gyan makes his Hero ISL debut
Undoubtedly the biggest signing ahead of the Hero ISL 2019-20 season, Asamoah Gyan’s debut was eagerly awaited by not only Highlanders' fans but the Hero ISL fans in general. Robert Jarni didn’t disappoint either, drafting the forward in right from the start in the opening match against Bengaluru FC. Despite not getting on the score sheet, the Ghanaian legend showed his class and produced a couple of magical moments on his debut. Surely, more is to come from the icon.
- 10-man Jamshedpur rally to beat Odisha
Jamshedpur FC hosted newcomers Odisha FC in their first match of the new campaign. After taking an early lead, Antonio Iriondo’s side found themselves on the backfoot when Bikash Jairu was shown a red card in the 35th minute and Aridane Santana equalised for the visitors five minutes before the half-time whistle. With Odisha smelling blood, Iriondo’s men exhibited tremendous resilience to not only keep the visitors at bay but also create a few chances of their own. The grit and passion finally paid off in the 85th minute as Spanish striker Sergio Castel nicked the winner to give Jamshedpur all three points.
- Relentless Goa announce their presence
Despite missing the likes of Ahmed Jahouh, Edu Bedia and Hugo Boumous, FC Goa put on a commanding display at home to comfortably beat Chennaiyin FC 3-0. New signing Seiminlen Doungel marked his debut with the opening goal, while the sensational Ferran Corominas scored his first of the season. Carlos Pena wrapped up the win with a brilliant third goal. The most encouraging part of the performance, however, was the contribution of Goa's Indian contingent in the match. The likes of Seriton Fernandes, Manvir Singh, Brandon Fernandes and Lenny Rodrigues shone bright, giving Goa fans a match to remember and a season to look forward to.
- Mumbai breaks Kochi duck
After tightly-fought 80 minutes of football, it seemed Match 5 of Hero ISL 2019-20 between Kerala and Mumbai was heading for a draw. Islanders' Tunisian striker Amine Chermiti, however, had other ideas. With time running out, the former African Champions League winner introduced himself to the Hero ISL with a well-taken late winner to engineer the only away win of Gameweek 1. This was also Mumbai’s first-ever victory over Kerala Blasters FC at Kochi since the Hero ISL’s inception.
Have your own favourite from the Gameweek gone by? Tell us in the comments below.