Gameweek 15 Wrap: Kerala and Jamshedpur bow out, first hat-trick, Goa confirm semi-final spot
Gameweek 15 of Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL) 2019-20 proved crucial in the scheme of things. While FC Goa, despite parting ways with long-time head coach Sergio Lobera, became the first team to seal their qualification for the semi-final stage, the Gameweek also saw two teams – Kerala Blasters FC and Jamshedpur FC – crash out of the top four race.
Looking back, here are the major talking points from Gameweek 15.
Islanders edge out Highlanders
The Gameweek went underway with Mumbai City FC taking a win over NorthEast United FC to break into the top four. Playing at home, the Islanders took the lead late in the first half and dug deep to protect it till the end of the match, thereby returning into the top four.
Chennaiyin send Kerala crashing out despite Ogbeche hat-trick
In a record-breaking match at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Kochi, Chennaiyin FC ended Kerala Blasters FC's hopes of getting into the top four with a 6-3 win. Kerala went 3-0 behind after a late first-half blitzkrieg by Chennaiyin but tried to mount a comeback thanks to a second half hat-trick - the first of the season 0 by skipper Bartholomew Ogbeche. Chennaiyin, however, warded off the challenge from their Southern rivals courtesy braces from Rafael Crivellaro, Nerijus Valskis and Lallianzuala Chhangte. This was the first time in the history of the Hero ISL where four players score two goals or more in a single match. Additionally, it was also the joint highest scoring Hero ISL match alongside FC Goa's 5-4 triumph over Chennaiyin back in 2016. Due to the loss, Kerala became the second team, after Hyderabad FC, to bow out of the Hero ISL 2019-20 top four race.
Lobera-less Goa become first team to confirm semis spot
With FC Goa parting ways with long-time head coach Sergio Lobera and a new coaching team, comprising of Derrick Pereira, Clifford Miranda and Roma Cunillera taking charge, there was a huge interest among fans and rivals to see how the Gaurs would fare against Hyderabad FC on Wednesday. The 2018-19 finalists showed no jitters at all as they convincingly dispatched Hyderabad 4-1 to reclaim the top spot in the Hero ISL 2019-20 table and became the first team this season to confirm their spot in the semi-finals.
Jamshedpur FC crash out of top four race
Jamshedpur were in action twice in Gameweek 15, first against ATK FC and then against Mumbai City FC. After being outclassed 3-0 in Kolkata by Antonio Lopez Habas' men, Jamshedpur headed to the Mumbai Football Arena for the final match of the Gameweek, needing to avoid defeat to hold on to any hopes of finishing in the top four. Antonio Iriondo’s men seemed to be on the right path after taking an early lead but were subjected to a 2-1 defeat courtesy two second-half goals by Mumbai. Bidyananda Singh completed the come-from-behind victory late in the game and consequently knocking Jamshedpur out of the top four race this season.