The Indian Super League (ISL) 2023-24 season started with much fanfare and excitement with the opening day clash between Kerala Blasters FC and Bengaluru FC at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Kochi. A narrow 2-1 victory was enough for Kerala Blasters as they took all the points in the southern rivalry match, helping them start the season on a winning note.

Odisha FC beat Chennaiyin FC in the match by a 2-0 scoreline in the next match on Saturday. On the same day, Mohun Bagan Super Giant pulled off a strong performance in victory against ISL's newly promoted side Punjab FC.

In the third match of Matchweek 1, Mumbai City FC narrowly defeated Northeast United FC in Guwahati with a 2-1 scoreline before the matchweek ended in Kolkata where East Bengal FC and Jamshedpur FC played out a goalless yet entertaining draw.

Here are the key takeaways from Matchweek 1:

A record for Kerala Blasters FC

Kerala Blasters started their ISL 2023-24 season with a narrow victory over Bengaluru FC in Kochi. An own goal from Keziah Veendorp and a goal by Adrian Luna were enough as the Kerala club edged past their southern rivals.

With this victory, Kerala Blasters FC became the club with the most victories in the opening fixtures since the start of the league in 2014 with five wins, going past Chennaiyin FC who have won four of their opening fixtures.

Adrian Luna was the star for the Yellow Army as he delivered a goal and an assist. He also scored the opening goal as the Blasters beat East Bengal FC in the opening match of the ISL 2022-23 campaign.

Winning return to ISL for Sergio Lobera

Odisha FC started their ISL  2023-24 season with a 2-0 victory against a formidable Chennaiyin FC team. This match marked the return of the former ISL Shield and Cup winner Sergio Lobera to India. The Spaniard has had an excellent track record in the ISL.

Lobera is one of the most successful coaches in ISL history with three titles to his name winning the ISL League Shield in the 2019-20 season with FC Goa and the ISL Winners Shield and Cup in the 2020-21 season with Mumbai City FC.

Only Des Buckingham has a better win rate (57.1%) than Sergio Lobera (53.2%) in the ISL history. Lobera's 1.8 points per game is also second only to Des Buckingham's 1.9 points per game in the history of the competition.

After a disappointing defeat in the AFC Cup against Mohun Bagan Super Giant, Odisha FC's big players Jerry Mawihmingthanga and Diego Mauricio stepped up and delivered the goods for Lobera and got them off to a winning start.

Odisha FC will hope to improve upon their playoff exit last season and hope to go further into the final of the ISL this season

Dimi Petratos, the Mariners' main man

Mohun Bagan Super Giant striker Dimi Petratos scored one and assisted one in a solid 3-1 victory over ISL debutants Punjab FC in their opening match of the ISL season. The Australian has been in fine form since the start of pre-season for the Kolkata club.

The Mariners had also won the Durand Cup prior to the start of the ISL season with the help of a solitary goal by Dimi Petratos in the final even after going a man down against East Bengal FC.

The Australian has already scored four goals in eight appearances in the pre-season fixtures for the club.

The Mariners' Head coach, Juan Ferrando heaped praise towards the Australian's performance in the post-match press conference after the Punjab FC game.

"In the case of Dimi, he is a good example for the rest of his teammates. It is necessary that they follow him in this way and I hope we will get more closer to good results," he said.

Mumbai City FC inch closer to record on Parthib Gogoi's night of excellence

A brace from Jorge Pereyra Diaz was enough for Mumbai City FC to beat NorthEast United FC in their opening game of the ISL 2023-24 season. While the Islanders looked like the side that won the League Shield in record-breaking fashion, NorthEast United FC's Parthib Gogoi stole the show with his incredible performance. He capped off his performance with a spectacular goal to equalise for Northeast United FC at one stage, however, the Islanders were able to collect all three points.

Gogoi completed four out of his five attempted dribbles in the match, both metrics being the highest of any player in the game; his 80% dribble success rate is the second highest among all players in a game this season behind only Sahal Abdul Samad's 85.7% against Punjab FC.

Phalguni Singh was another youngster who impressed after being involved in 17 duels in the match, the most by any player in the opening round of this season's ISL fixtures so far; he was able to win a game-high eight of those.

"We cannot push Parthib and Phalguni all the time. They need time. They are so young and if we start pushing them now; maybe we do the contrary and let them free, let them enjoy their football," Northeast United FC Head coach Juan Pedro Benali said after the game.

Mumbai City FC meanwhile have now scored in 14 straight away games, moving only two short of Chennaiyin FC's all-time record.

Promise for East Bengal FC and Jamshedpur FC

East Bengal FC and Jamshedpur FC played out a goalless draw on Monday to close Matchweek 1 of the ISL. Neither team would be too pleased with the result on opening day, but looking at the performances of the two teams, both head coaches who made their ISL debuts with their new teams will be pleased to see the potential they could still unlock. 

Both teams had chances to open the scoring and carried a threat throughout the game. With more games and minutes under their belt, both teams could have the sharpness to covert these chances. 

After disappointing campaigns last term, both East Bengal FC and Jamshedpur FC can believe that they would have enough in the locker to make the cut to the playoffs this season.