Gameweek 19 Wrap: ATK Mohun Bagan go top as Mumbai City falter; Bengaluru still in semi-final running
Gameweek 19 of Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL) 2020-21 saw the battle for the top four spots heat up with plenty of teams making their move in the business end of the season. The action from the past gameweek also witnessed some teams falling out of contention for the semi-finals, while the final match from week 19 saw Bengaluru FC getting the better of Mumbai City FC in a six-goal thriller on Monday. Here, we have a look at all the highlights from the week gone by.
Hyderabad and Goa draws aid their semis contention; dent opposition prospects
Hyderabad FC and FC Goa were both involved in draws over the past gameweek. Hyderabad’s match against SC East Bengal saw Aridane Santana net a late equaliser as the game ended 1-1, while another goal by super-sub Ishan Pandita witnessed the Gaurs share the spoils with Chennaiyin FC following a 2-2 draw.
These draws kept Goa and Hyderabad level on points and within arm’s length of finishing the league stage in the top four, while ending any bleak semi-final hopes that the likes of SC East Bengal and Chennaiyin may have harboured.
NorthEast United make the most of semi-final rivals’ draws
One side that definitely capitalised on Hyderabad and Goa’s draws was NorthEast United FC. The Highlanders continued their splendid run of form under interim head coach Khalid Jamil with a 3-1 win against Odisha FC. Luis Machado netted a brace and Deshorn Brown scored once as NorthEast beat Odisha to climb to third in the standings with 26 points, two ahead of both Hyderabad and Goa. Their latest win means that the Highlanders now have their semis destiny in their own hands and with a run of seven unbeaten games – including four wins – it would take a brave man to bet against them now finishing the league stage in the top four.
Roy Krishna fires ATK Mohun Bagan to the top of Hero ISL standings
ATK Mohun Bagan climbed to the summit of the 2020-21 Hero ISL standings following a 1-0 victory against Jamshedpur FC on Sunday. The Mariners’ leading goal-scorer Roy Krishna scored the only goal of the game in the 85th minute. Krishna with 13 goals isn’t just ATK Mohun Bagan’s top goal-getter this campaign but also the leading scorer in the league. His fine form of late has seen him score in all his last four outings, which the Kolkata giants have won and that will be welcomed by his head coach Antonio Lopez Habas, who will want his best players to be in top form in the business end of the campaign.
Bengaluru FC keep semi-final hopes alive
The Blues showed that they can go toe-to-toe with the best in the league after beating Mumbai City FC in a six-goal thriller. Bengaluru began the match in stunning fashion by taking the lead within 25 seconds through Cleiton Silva, who scored his second goal of the game in the 22nd minute. The Islanders reduced the deficit early in the second half through Adam le Fondre before Sunil Chhetri reestablished Bengaluru’s two-goal lead. Le Fondre though struck again for Mumbai City to bring them back into the contest. However, a second Chhetri strike deep into stoppage time ensured that the Blues got the win and kept their bleak semi-final hopes alive.