Hero ISL 2022-23: Paul Masefield picks combined team of the Matchweek 1 and 2
My team of the Hero Indian Super League (ISL) Matchweek goes like this. I've managed to pick four foreigners and an all-Indian defence, and I got to admit that some of these players have been in a sensational form, bagging top performances in both matchweeks.
I've gone top heavy with my foreign players going forwards and a little bit more defensive with the Indian players who have really shone so far this season. Matchweek Three is coming up soon and I can't wait for that.
Gurpreet Singh Sandhu (Bengaluru FC)
Bengaluru FC managed to defeat NorthEast United FC by 1-0, and he pulled off a couple of big saves in that game. And then, there was that 1-1 draw against Chennaiyin FC where he pulled off half-a-dozen top drawer saves. This is the reason he will be in front of the goal for me.
Rahul Bheke (Mumbai City FC)
Solid as usual. In their 3-3 draw (against Hyderabad FC), they did concede a couple of goals, but it was a solid defensive display from him that further helped his side overcome Odisha FC with a 2-0 victory in their second fixture.
Mehtab Singh (Mumbai City FC)
He came on as a sub in the first game, but in the second game, he kept Diego Mauricio in check, and was an absolute stellar rock at the back. He thoroughly deserved to be Hero of the Match.
Anwar Ali (FC Goa)
Although FC Goa have only played that one game against East Bengal FC where they won 2-1, Anwar Ali showed some real quality, yet again. It's amazing that he's back on the pitch, but it's amazing that he's performing at such a high level as well.
Roshan Naorem (Bengaluru FC)
You have a look at the goals that Bengaluru FC have conceded and it’s only one. They kept a clean sheet in their opening game and Roshan on that left wing has shown balance, pace, and the ability to cross with both feet. He is a real asset for BFC.
Joao Victor (Hyderabad FC)
You can’t look past Joao Victor. He got two goals in the opening game, that says it all. He wears his heart on his sleeve. You're talking about somebody who is absolutely solid in the middle of the park and is someone that you would want in the trenches with you, if you were going into battle.
Jiteshwor Singh (Chennaiyin FC)
Singh was absolutely outstanding in that last game that he played against Bengaluru FC and he won the Hero of the Match award. The midfielder did all the running and closing down in the middle of the park. He was wonderful and absolutely fantastic. I think Chennaiyin FC have got a real (great) find here and someone who will go on to bigger and better things for sure.
Halicharan Narzary (Hyderabad FC)
What a start to the season for him. Scored in both the games. Everybody's keeping their fingers crossed with respect to the slight tweak in his injury and I hope that he will be back very quickly. But again, Narzary rolled back the years and showed two real, mature performances in their games against Mumbai City FC and NorthEast United FC.
Ivan Kaliuzhnyi (Kerala Blasters)
What a burst onto the scene it has been for him with Kerala Blasters FC. Scoring two goals in the opening game, and then scoring again against ATK Mohun Bagan in Matchweek 2 just shows and proves that this boy has got something about him. We want to see more and he needs to deliver more.
Kwame Karikari (Chennaiyin FC)
Another player that has burst onto the scene. His goal in that opening game from the penalty spot showed real quality and poise. He had to keep his nerve there to get all three points against ATK Mohun Bagan. He couldn't get it right at the death against Bengaluru FC. Yes, he's only come on as a substitute. Yes, we've only seen him in fits and starts. But I'm expecting bigger and better things from him as the season progresses.
Dimitri Petratos (ATK Mohun Bagan)
It's the opening hat-trick of the Hero Indian Super League (ISL) 2022-23 season from him. He was a little bit quiet and missed a couple of opportunities in that opening game where they lost 1-2 to Chennayin FC, but he did show some real quality finishing in Kochi against Kerala Blasters. I think there's plenty more goals to come from him.
Head coach: Manolo Marquez (Hyderabad FC)
Manolo Marquez, you can't argue with what he's done. Those youngsters from Hyderabad FC keep coming through. They've looked pretty solid and sit on top of the table after two rounds in the Hero ISL.