Gameweek 12 Wrap: Kerala continue surge, Odisha in top four, Roca’s return and more

Gameweek 12 of Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL) 2019-20 witnessed lots of movement in the league table - some which may even have lasting implications in the top four race and how the table looks at the end of the league phase. While there were several memorable moments to cherish in the five matches from the Gameweek, here’s a look back at some of the biggest talking points.

Odisha break into and strengthen position in top four

Odisha went into the game against Mumbai City FC with a chance to enter the top four and won the match with ease courtesy goals from Aridane Santana and Xisco Hernandez. The Bhubaneswar-based outfit have now won their last four home matches and later in the week, they replicated their brilliant home form on the road by beating Hyderabad 2-1. The result also saw them go level on points with ATK in the standings. Santana scored both their goals against Hyderabad and as a result became the leading scorer in the league this season with nine goals so far.

Kerala continue their surge up the table

Kerala Blasters FC registered back-to-back wins for the first time this season when they overcame ATK by a 1-0 scoreline at Kolkata. By doing so, the Kochi-based club completed the double over the two-time Hero ISL champions this season, having previously beaten them in the opening fixture of the campaign. Successive wins have seen them climb the table and Eelco Schattorie’s men will be hoping they can continue their fine form in the business end of the campaign as the Blasters look to hit top gear at the right time. 

Chennaiyin return to winning ways under Coyle

After a setback under new head coach Owen Coyle, Chennaiyin returned to winning ways at the expense of bottom-placed Hyderabad following a 3-1 triumph away from home. Nerijus Valskis added two more goals to his tally and seems to be getting better with each passing game, while Rafael Crivellaro’s influence on the side from midfield constantly seems to grow. The pair went on to score again in Chennaiyin's 2-0 triumph against NorthEast United FC later in the week as well. The duo will have a major role to play between now and the end of the league phase with regards to Chennaiyin’s top four aspirations.

Albert Roca returns to the Hero ISL

One of the biggest highlights of the past week’s action took place off the pitch. Following the departure of Phil Brown as Hyderabad’s head coach, the club announced the return of former Bengaluru gaffer Albert Roca to the Hero ISL. The former Barcelona assistant coach will don the role of head coach of Hyderabad from next season and has taken on an advisory role till the end of the campaign. The Spaniard was at the G.M.C. Balayogi Athletic Stadium for Hyderabad’s match against Odisha FC.

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