Gameweek 17 Wrap: Goa create history, Odisha, Chennaiyin seal important wins and more
The penultimate Gameweek of the Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL) 2019-20 league phase turned out to be an intriguing affair, particularly with Chennaiyin FC, Mumbai City FC and Odisha FC making their final dash to clinch the only remaining semi-final spot. Gameweek 17 also witnessed history made as FC Goa clinched the top spot and the slot in the AFC Champions League 2021 group stage. Heading into the final Gameweek, here's a look back at some of the biggest talking points from the Gameweek gone by:
Jamshedpur deny Hyderabad a win in their final home match.
Rooted to the bottom of the Hero ISL league table, Hyderabad went into their final home match of the season against Jamshedpur FC with the intent to win in a bid to sign off on a positive note in front of their home fans. Their ambitions seemed to be on track as Nestor Gordillo Benitez gave them an early lead. The newcomers looked almost certain to seal only their second win of the season until Sumeet Passi rescued a point for Jamshedpur late into injury time.
Odisha and Kerala mount spirited comebacks
After Martin Chaves grabbed his first goal of the season for NorthEast United FC, tactical tweaks from Josep Gombau allowed Manuel Onwu to equalise and draw Odisha level. Martin Perez Guedes then scored the winner, keeping Odisha in the hunt for a top four finish. Meanwhile, Kerala Blasters FC had a point to prove when they took to the field against Bengaluru FC in an intense South Indian Derby. Deshorn Brown opened the scoring for the visitors but Kerala rallied back in style. Bartholomew Ogbeche equalised just before the break and added to his tally from the penalty spot to seal the win for Kerala in their final home outing of the season.
Chennaiyin stun ATK to spice up the race for the fourth spot
Engaged in a tight race to clinch the only remaining semi-final spot, Chennaiyin FC travelled to Kolkata with the sole intention of winning. ATK FC, on the other hand, had their own ambitions of taking back the top spot from Goa. The visitors were dominant from the get-go, putting three past the two-time champions and severely dented ATK's hopes for a top-place finish in the Hero ISL league table. Moreover, this win allowed Chennaiyin to move over Odisha to fifth, just a point off fourth-placed Mumbai with a game in hand.
Goa create history
ATK’s loss to Chennaiyin presented an opportunity for FC Goa to seal their spot at the top of the points table with just a point against Jamshedpur. The Gaurs took it with both hands and emerged as 5-0 winners over Jamshedpur to seal the top spot and thereby becoming the first Indian club to earn a direct entry to the AFC Champions League 2021 group stage. The result also means Goa win the first-ever League Winners Shield, presented to the Hero ISL table toppers starting this season. It was also Goa’s 50th Hero ISL win, making them the first team to reach the landmark.