Gameweek 12 Wrap: FC Goa and Chennaiyin FC catch the eye through dominant performances
Gameweek 12 of Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL) 2020-21 was another set of five games high on drama. Late goals, highly competitive draws, splendid attacking football and fierce battles on the pitch were some of the characteristics that were on display. The past gameweek also saw Gerard Nus part ways with NorthEast United FC as head coach following a draw against Bengaluru FC. Here, we take a look at some of the highlights from Gameweek 12.
NorthEast and Bengaluru’s winless runs continue
Nus’ last match in-charge of the Highlanders came against Bengaluru. NorthEast took the lead in the 27th minute through Luis Machado but Rahul Bheke struck the equaliser for Bengaluru five minutes into the second period. Both teams toiled in search of a winner for the remainder of the match but the defences on either end of the pitch held firm and denied the strikers any sort of joy. In the end, the match finished in a draw which extended NorthEast’s winless run in the league to seven games. Bengaluru too remained winless in their fifth successive game.
Chennaiyin snap their winless run
Unlike NorthEast and Bengaluru, one team that did end their winless run in the league during the past gameweek was Chennaiyin FC. The two-time champions beat Odisha FC 2-1 courtesy of a brace from Esmael Goncalves on his return to the starting XI. He scored both the goals in the first half. Odisha pulled one back through substitute Diego Mauricio in the second half but the Marina Machans held on resolutely to secure a much-needed win and bring an end to their unwanted four-match winless streak.
The Gaurs on the rise in the standings
One of the in-form teams in the league, FC Goa have claimed 10 out of a possible 12 points from their last four outings. Their 3-0 win over Jamshedpur FC in the past gameweek was perhaps their most convincing display of the season so far. Jorge Ortiz Mendoza scored a brace and Ivan Gonzalez netted their third late on to put the Gaurs within two points of second-placed ATK Mohun Bagan. They head into their next clash against the Mariners high on confidence and will know that a victory against the Kolkata giants in their upcoming fixture shall see them leapfrog Antonio Lopez Habas’ men in the standings.
Late drama sees spoils shared between SC East Bengal and Kerala Blasters
After Jordan Murray had broken the deadlock, Kerala Blasters FC must have thought that they were on course to register successive wins for the first time in Hero ISL 2020-21 when they were holding on to a 1-0 lead deep into injury time. However, SC East Bengal’s Scott Neville had different ideas and rose at the far post to head home an equaliser from a corner with what was virtually the last piece of action in the game. The Blasters though will take heart from the fact that Murray’s form in front of goal has been splendid of late with the Australian striker now boasting six goals this season. SC East Bengal, on the other hand, stay above Kerala in the standings and extend their unbeaten run to six matches in the league.
Meanwhile, table-toppers Mumbai City FC were held to a goalless draw by fourth-placed Hyderabad FC in the last game of Gameweek 12 on Saturday night. This was Mumbai City’s only second draw this season in 11 games.