Gameweek 4 Wrap: Blues back to winning ways, special guest in Kochi, Krishna storm in Kolkata
With Gameweek 4 being the final round of matches leading into the first international break of the Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL) 2019-20 season, all teams involved gave it their all to end the first phase of the campaign on a positive note. NorthEast United, FC Goa, ATK and Bengaluru were all successful in their pursuits, picking up three points. Odisha FC and Kerala Blasters, meanwhile, had to settle for a point each. The likes of Hyderabad, Mumbai, Jamshedpur and Chennaiyin, however, failed to get anything from their respective encounters.
Looking back, here are the key highlights from Gameweek 4.
NorthEast maintain unbeaten run
In last Gameweek's encounter against FC Goa, the Highlanders conceded a late, late goal that prevented them from getting all three points. Robert Jarni’s men, however, made sure they earned the full quota in Gameweek 4 in an away game against Hyderabad FC. The fixture was quite demanding from physical and tactical standpoints, needing Jarni’s men to be on their toes at all times. Argentine striker, Maximiliano Barreiro was the difference on the night as he converted a penalty in the 86th minute and ensured the Highlanders remained unbeaten in Hero ISL 2019-20 going into the international break.
FC Goa dismantle Mumbai yet again
Going into Thursday’s encounter, the Gaurs were averaging two goals a game against the Islanders in the Hero ISL. Sergio Lobera’s men turned on the heat yet again against their western neighbours, whom they also overcame in last season's semi-finals, and walked away as 4-2 winners from the Mumbai Football Arena. The first-half saw the Gaurs race to a 2-0 lead. Mumbai, however, bounced back to level the scoreline early in the second period. The Gaurs, however, snuffed out any chances of a memorable come-from-behind victory for the Islanders and shipped in two more to maintain their stellar record against Mumbai.
Patrick Owomoyela in Kochi
The Borussia Dortmund icon was also among the thousands who watched the match between Kerala Blasters FC and Odisha FC at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium last Friday. The 40-year-old was in India as part of a Bundesliga promotional tour, and made time to watch the encounter which he felt, was exciting despite ending goalless. Owomoyela was also particularly impressed with the Blasters faithful, as he stated, “There's something about the Manjappada fans."
Jamshedpur caught in Krishna storm
ATK’s home tie with Jamshedpur last Saturday was played amidst gusty winds and heavy rain which made the fixture really demanding for players. Despite the conditions, however, the match was played in high spirits with both sets of players going toe-to-toe in the tightly-contested first-half. However, it all changed in the second 45 minutes as the visitors were hit by a blitzkrieg from ATK striker Roy Krishna. The 32-year-old won and converted two penalties in the space of 15 minutes, before turning provider for Edu Garcia late in the match. The 3-1 win was the third on the bounce for Antonio Lopez Habas’ men, propelling them to the top of the table. For Jamshedpur, it was the first loss of the season.
Bengaluru back to winning ways
After three back-to-back draws to start of the Hero ISL 2019-20, defending champions Bengaluru FC finally returned to their familiar winning ways after a 3-0 win over Chennaiyin FC on the last matchday of Gameweek 4. Speaking of returning, the performance was highlighted by a fine performance by Erik Paartaly, who was back in the side after a long injury layoff. The Australian scored Bengaluru's first while captain Sunil Chhetri registered his first goal of the campaign with a thumping drive in the 25th minute. Semboi Haokip sealed the result for the Blues with a late strike. The loss extended Chennaiyin's poor run of form, which has been continuing since last season and prompted their head coach John Gregory to hint at possibly leaving the club.