Gameweek 21 Wrap: First hat-trick of the season from Bipin; FC Goa and NorthEast United FC register important wins
In Gameweek 21, Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL) 2020-21 went from strength to strength in terms of competitiveness as only three teams remained in the race for the third and fourth spots. FC Goa kicked off the gameweek with a win over Bengaluru FC before Chennaiyin FC drew 1-1 against Kerala Blasters FC. ATK Mohun Bagan’s top-spot hopes were dealt some blow after they came out of their game against Hyderabad FC with only a point, and then NorthEast United FC secured the three points over SC East Bengal, piling pressure on their fellow semis contenders (FC Goa and Hyderabad FC). In the last match of the gameweek, Mumbai City FC rampaged to the biggest win of the season against Odisha FC. Here, we take a look at the top highlights from the gameweek gone by.
FC Goa end Bengaluru FC’s semi-final hopes with slender win
Having defeated Mumbai City FC in the previous round, Bengaluru FC stood an outside chance of reaching the top four heading into the game. However, FC Goa scored twice in the first half courtesy of goals from Igor Angulo and Indian winger Redeem Tlang, who scored his first goal for the Gaurs. Suresh Wangjam then halved the deficit in the 33rd minute but his team failed to find the important equaliser. FC Goa held on to their lead with some valiant defending in the second half and earned the three points. Now they need just one point from their last game of the league stage to qualify for the semis.
Hyderabad FC hold ATK Mohun Bagan
Current league leaders ATK Mohun Bagan were held to a 2-2 draw after a spirited performance from Hyderabad FC. Manuel Marquez’ side played with 10 men for 85 minutes after Chinglensana Singh received a red card in the 5th minute but their skipper Aridane Santana gave them an early lead. Manvir Singh scored the equaliser in the second half before Roland Alberg scored what seemed like the winning goal for Hyderabad FC. However, the Mariners had other plans, and scored an important equalising goal in injury time to earn a point from the match. A win for Antonio Lopez Habas’ men however would have sealed the top spot for them. As regards Hyderabad FC, they will now have to beat FC Goa in their last game on Sunday to qualify for the semis.
NorthEast United FC beat SC East Bengal
The Highlanders secured an important win over SC East Bengal to keep their hopes of a top-four finish alive. Suhair Vadakkepeedika scored the opening goal for the Highlanders before a Sarthak Golui own goal doubled their lead. The defender scored a consolation goal for the Red and Gold Brigade late in the game but could not stop the Highlanders from entering the final gameweek of the league stage in the top four. Now all the Highlanders need is a draw in their last game against Kerala Blasters FC to qualify for the semis.
Bipin scores first hat-trick of the season as Mumbai City FC make a statement of intent
In the last match of the gameweek on Wednesday night, Mumbai City FC put on a clinic against Odisha FC and a hat-trick from Bipin Singh (first of the season), a brace from Bartholomew Ogbeche and a strike from Cy Goddard took them to the biggest win of the season. The 6-1 win brought them within three points of league leaders ATK Mohun Bagan whom they play in the last match of the league stage on Sunday where a win will guarantee them the top spot.