Gameweek 13 Wrap: Three draws; NorthEast & Kerala Blasters only teams to win, and 150th goal of the season
In what was a gameweek of very competitive football in the 2020-21 Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL), NorthEast United FC and Kerala Blasters FC were the only teams to secure a 2-1 victory each against Jamshedpur FC and Bengaluru FC respectively. ATK Mohun Bagan and Hyderabad FC were held to 1-1 draws by FC Goa and Odisha FC respectively, while Chennaiyin FC and SC East Bengal played out a goalless draw. As Gameweek 13 came to a close with the Bengaluru FC-Kerala Blasters FC game at the GMC Stadium in Bambolim on Wednesday night, here we look at some of the highlights from the gameweek gone by.
Jamshedpur lose three in a row
Jamshedpur succumbed to their third straight loss when they played the Highlanders in the first fixture of the gameweek. Goals from Ashutosh Mehta and new-signing Deshorn Brown sealed a victory for NorthEast United, who played under interim head coach Khalid Jamil for the first time since the departure of head coach Gerard Nus. Peter Hartley grabbed the consolation goal for Owen Coyle’s team. While the Highlanders breathed some life into their campaign after breaking their seven-game winless run, Jamshedpur were left desperate for wins in their future games.
Hyderabad held by bottom-placed Odisha
One of the revelations in Hero ISL 2020-21, Hyderabad have been in fine form in the new year. They won their first two matches, scoring eight goals in all in both the games before holding league leaders Mumbai City FC to a goalless draw. This was followed by their match against Odisha but Manuel Marquez’s side were held to a 1-1 draw by the Bhubaneswar-based club. Halicharan Narzary provided the lead but the team were unable to make their future chances count and were eventually punished after Cole Alexander scored the equaliser for Odisha in the second half.
ATK Mohun Bagan lose ground in fight for the top spot
Having lost to the Islanders in the previous gameweek, second-placed ATK Mohun Bagan had a chance to reduce the five-point deficit at the top. However, their intentions were foiled by yet another late goal by FC Goa. Edu Garcia scored a brilliant freekick to give the Mariners the lead in the second half but super substitute Ishan Pandita scored from a corner to equalise late in the game for the Gaurs.
Kerala Blasters come from behind to win
Kibu Vicuna’s men showed great character against former champions Bengaluru to register a solid win. Bengaluru went ahead in the first half thanks to a Cleiton Silva goal after which Kerala Blasters staged a fabulous comeback thanks to goals from their domestic talents. First Lalthathanga Khawlhring scored the equaliser and then Rahul KP sealed the deal for the Blasters in injury time. He was rightly adjudged Hero of the Match. Cleiton’s deadlock-breaker was the 150th goal of the season as the league continued going from strength to strength.