MW13 takeaways: Home joy for East Bengal FC, Kerala Blasters FC's unbeaten run, and more

Kerala Blasters FC continued their charge for the top spot as they scored three past Jamshedpur FC to conclude Matchweek 13 of the Hero Indian Super League (ISL). There were goals galore in Matchweek 13 as 23 goals were scored across five matches with no draws.

picked up where it left off as the turn of the year brought excitement and suspense with the teams looking to wrap things in style. 

The Matchweek began with a high stake fixture as ATK Mohun Bagan and FC Goa met at the Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan, in Kolkata. With both sides fighting for the playoffs, the fixture brought in emotions and drama was capped off with a victory by ATK Mohun Bagan.

Hyderabad FC continued to stay on the coattails of league leaders Mumbai City FC as they put up six goals past NorthEast United FC. East Bengal FC got all three points against Bengaluru FC winning in injury time to record their first victory at home. 

Meanwhile, Mumbai City FC cemented their place on the top of the Hero ISL table with a commanding victory against Odisha FC. With two goals in his latest fixture, Lallianzuala Chhangte became the joint-leading goalscorer for this season with seven goals alongside Chennaiyin FC's Abdenasser El Khayati and East Bengal FC's Cleiton Silva. 

Here are key takeaways from Matchweek 13: 

A show of grit by ATK Mohun Bagan

Teams have been pushing to make the playoffs, with matches coming thick and fast and with a lot at stake. ATK Mohun Bagan welcomed FC Goa last month with a lot of talk surrounding their struggle with injuries as the team. The team is still coping despite several players during the season and have made new signings in the ongoing transfer window to add to head coach Juan Ferrando's arsenal.

But after a shocking defeat to NorthEast United FC, the Mariners put up a fine performance against FC Goa to consolidate their place in the top six. The home side took the lead early in the match through Dimitri Petratos only for FC Goa to bring the scoreline to a draw with a goal from Anwar Ali. A commanding second-half performance, which saw Hugo Boumous score in the 52nd minute of the match, gave ATK Mohun Bagan all three points. Head coach Juan Ferrando was delighted with the team's performance and hailed the mentality of the players to bounce back after a defeat in the previous game.

For FC Goa, the result meant that they missed the chance to climb to the third spot. The Gaurs now sit four points behind Juan Ferrando's men and are placed fifth. 

Hyderabad FC put NorthEast United FC through sword

Hyderabad FC ended the year by scoring six goals past NorthEast United FC and that saw them going at the top of the league table in 2022 before they were dethroned by Mumbai City FC. NorthEast United FC seemed to have turned the corner, after claiming their first win of the season in their previous match, only for Hyderabad FC to assert their dominance and demoralise their opponents.

The match saw four different goal scorers for the home team as Hyderabad FC kept their foot on the pedal throughout the game with the first goal coming in the eighth minute of the match. They scored three more goals after the 70-minute mark to cap off a dominant victory.

Hyderabad FC head coach Manolo Marquez heaped praise on his team and backed the players for a brilliant second half of the season. "We are very happy, these players deserve a monument," said the head coach. 

East Bengal FC bag first home win of the season

East Bengal FC completed a double over Bengaluru FC this season with an important victory at Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan thanks to an individual moment of brilliance by Cleiton Silva, who scored the match-winning goal via a freekick in the 92nd minute of the game.

While Stephen Constantine's side came close to winning games at home earlier this season, they finally gave the home fans something to cheer with their first victory at home after 11 games. 

The victory came at a crucial time for the Red & Gold Brigade as they won the match after two consecutive losses. For Bengaluru FC, the loss resulted in the team dropping to the ninth position in the league standings after a fourth defeat in the last five matches.

Lallianzuala Chhangte becomes Hero ISL's joint-top goalscorer

The most awaited game of Matchweek 13 did not disappoint as Mumbai City FC extended their unbeaten run to 12 games and in doing so put a halt to Odisha FC's unbeaten run at home. 

As Odisha FC and Mumbai City FC locked horns in the first fixture of 2023, Lallianzuala Chhangte led the way for the Islanders, helping them register a comprehensive victory. Chhangte was unstoppable as he opened the scoring in the second half with a brilliant strike from close range and then added to his tally late into the game with a composed finish after Odisha FC failed to clear their lines. 

The home team tried to comeback with an equalising goal from Diego Mauricio in the 62nd minute, but the attacking prowess of Mumbai City FC proved too hard to resist as goals kept coming in regular intervals with Bipin Singh and Alberto Noguera scoring for MCFC respectively. 

Kerala Blasters FC post their best-ever unbeaten run

It was a historic night for the Yellow Army as their 3-1 win over Jamshedpur FC saw them extend their unbeaten run to eight games, breaking their previous record of seven games unbeaten.

The match witnessed end-to-end action with both sides displaying the intent to attack and take the game to the opposition. Jamshedpur FC tried to fight their way through after Daniel Chima's equaliser, but KBFC's persistance paid off as Dimitrios Diamantakos gave them the lead going into the break. The hosts continued causing multiple problems for the defending League Shield champions, even after Jamshedpur FC changed their system. And then came that goal from Adrian Luna showcasing how the Blasters were enjoying their football.  

Displaying a breathtaking brand of football with precise short passes and fine combination play that consisted of flicks and back heels, Adrian Luna finished off a beautiful goal for Kerala Blasters FC. Ivan Vukomanovic's side now sit third in the Hero ISL standings, within touching distance of second-placed Hyderabad FC. 

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