Gameweek 3 Wrap: Milestone 1000, Hyderabad’s memorable first tryst, and more
The Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL) 2019-20 season is now three Gameweeks old, with each club having played at three matches till now. All sides involved are trying to get an early foothold in the league table to get themselves a strong launchpad for the impending top four race. ATK, Odisha FC and Hyderabad FC were the big winners this Gameweek, with NorthEast United FC, Jamshedpur FC and FC Goa also adding valuable points to their tally. Defending champions Bengaluru FC and former Hero ISL title holders Chennaiyin FC are the only two teams yet to register a win so far this season.
Looking back, here are the key highlights from Gameweek 3.
Williams brings up the 1000-mark
The Australian was just one of the numerous top-quality signings who arrived at the Kolkata-based club in the summer. However, his impact has, so far, been decisive. The 31-year-old scored the only goal of the match to help ATK earn all three points against Chennaiyin last Wednesday. The goal was his third in the league, having earlier scored a brace in the 5-0 win over Hyderabad. To top it all off, the 48th-minute strike was also the 1000th goal in Hero ISL, guaranteeing Williams a special place in Hero ISL's history.
Santana powers Odisha to first win
Josep Gombau’s men were unlucky not to have picked up anything from their first two matches of the season and things didn't look too promising as they faced a daunting trip Mumbai last Thursday. However, what unfolded was truly remarkable as Gombau’s charges raced into a 3-0 lead at half-time before clinching the three points by a 4-2 margin. Striker Aridane Santana was the star of the show with a terrific brace and helped Odisha register their first points on the board.
Goa's second late escape in a row
In Gameweek 2, the Gaurs salvaged a point against Bengaluru at home courtesy a Ferran Corominas penalty deep into stoppage time. In Gameweek 3, Sergio Lobera's men repeated the great escape - this time in Guwahati against NorthEast United. With the score reading 2-1 in the Highlanders' favour and Goa down to 10 men, substitute Manvir Singh's header, in what almost turned out to be the last chance of the game, helped the Gaurs to engineer their second late escape in as many matches.
Hyderabad’s historic day
Coming into their first-ever home match at the G.M.C. Balayogi Athletic Stadium, Phil Brown’s men were under immense pressure, having lost both their opening fixtures by considerable margins. Injuries to key personnel made it an even more challenging prospect. Rahul KP seemed to have piled on the misery on the Hero ISL newcomers in the first-half as he gave Kerala Blasters the lead. However, in the second period, the players showed immense character to bounce back with goals from Marko Stankovic and Marcelo Pereira and make the city of Hyderabad's first tryst with the Hero ISL a memorable one.
Goalkeeping masterclasses at the Furnace
The final match of Gameweek 3 between Jamshedpur FC and Bengaluru FC at the Furnace may have ended goalless, but the tie witnessed some world class goalkeeping from both custodians. Subrata Paul was sensational for the home team, keeping out waves after waves of Bengaluru attacks, while his opposite number Gurpreet Singh Sandhu pulled off some miraculous saves of his own on the night.
Which was your favourite moment from Gameweek 3?