Hero ISL 2019-20’s best XI players who did not make it to the semi-finals
The first legs of the Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL) 2019-20 semi-finals were a fascinating watch, as the best players and teams fought it out to gain an advantage over the other. Names like Rafael Crivellaro, Ferran Corominas, Sunil Chhetri and Roy Krishna were the star attractions of the two matches, which had no shortage of talent in defence or in attack.
Having said that, the knockout rounds of Hero ISL 2019-20 surely missed the presence of a few select individuals, who put on a stellar show in the league stage but failed to make it further. Recognizing them, here are the best XI players who missed out from featuring in the Hero ISL 2019-20 semi-finals.
While NorthEast United FC may have failed to replicate their stunning 2018-19 campaign this time around, the 33-year-old Subhasish had a near perfect season, wherein his save percentage of 72.36% was up there with the best. So far, no other goalkeeper has managed to pull off more stops than Subhasish’s tally of 55 from 15 matches. The Highlanders stopper also earned three clean sheets and accounted for 31 clearances and 70 catches through the season.
The Islanders were in with a chance for a semi-final berth until their very last league match. A delicate balance between defence and attack was their mantra for success this term, with defender Subhasish Bose standing out as their better player in each department. The 24-year-old not just accounted for impressive defensive numbers which included 114 clearances, but also chipped in with important contributions at the further end of the pitch.
In his fifth season in the Hero ISL, the 28-year-old once again shone through and held the Jamshedpur defence together, until his unfortunate injury. The Spaniard missed the last six games of the club’s season, but was still one of their top performers with 100 clearances to his name. Tiri’s ability on the ball was equally important to Jamshedpur, as he had a passing accuracy of more than 75%.
It wasn’t the greatest of Hero ISL seasons for Kerala Blasters FC this time around. The Kochi-based club finished in seventh position, repeatedly struggling with injuries and poor form. However, on the bright side, quite a few talented players demonstrated their potential, with the 29-year-old left-back being one of them. In defence, Carneiro accounted from an impressive 78 clearances, 28 tackles and 22 blocks. In the attacking phase, the left-back chipped in with five assists – the highest among all defenders in the Hero ISL 2019-20 so far.
Despite being just 19 and playing just his first Hero ISL season, the combative midfielder showed no nerves and earned high praise from former Highlanders head coach, Robert Jarni. The NorthEast No.45 played 10 matches, where he accounted for 60 tackles, 24 interceptions and 18 clearances. His performance at home against the Blasters at the start of February was especially praiseworthy, subsequently earning him the Hero of the Match title.
Arguably Jamshedpur’s player of the season, the 32-year-old Spaniard was a joy to watch as he commanded the midfield and set the tempo of the club’s play. Monroy completed more than 1100 passes with an impressive accuracy of close to 70%. Defensively, the Spaniard accounted for 114 tackles, 27 interceptions, 49 clearances and 31 blocks.
Despite playing only in his first season for Mumbai City FC, the 27-year-old midfielder was indispensable to the club’s success this season. Borges played 15 matches, where he completed 103 tackles, 43 interceptions, 56 clearances and 22 blocks. Offensively, the India international had a passing accuracy of more than 75%, whilst chipping in with two goals and as many assists through the season.
Like Borges, the 32-year-old Larbi also quickly became a key member of Mumbai’s team despite having just joined at the start of the season. The Tunisian featured in all 18 matches for the club, scoring two goals and providing four assists. Larbi’s guile and ability to make something out of nothing helped the Islanders navigate their way past stiff challenges, thereby taking them ever-so-close to the 2019-20 semi-finals.
The 32-year-old’s debut season in the Hero ISL didn’t get off to the best of starts, as he failed to hit the heights of his predecessor at Bengaluru FC. Moving to Odisha FC in the winter transfer window, the Spaniard unlocked his stunning potential, scoring in almost every game. In Odisha’s final match of the season, Onwu scored a hat-trick, thus taking his season tally to seven goals from just 10 matches. He also provided two assists during that time.
One of the headline signings of the summer, the powerful 35-year-old got his Kerala Blasters career off to a smashing start, scoring both the goals in the season opener over ATK FC. While Eelco Schattorie’s side failed to build on that win, Ogbeche continued his stunning form in front of goal. The former Highlanders forward ended the campaign with 15 goals from 16 matches – the highest by any player in the league so far.
Ogbeche’s fellow forward and teammate, the 27-year-old Cameroonian enjoyed quite an impactful start to his Hero ISL career. Messi’s trickery especially near the box was difficult for defenders to deal with, as was his tremendous energy which added another dimension to Blasters’ play. Messi finished the campaign with eight goals and one assist from 17 matches.