Round-up: Late winners, stunning comebacks and some Spanish brilliance
After a 10-day international break, the Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL) was back in action on November 21 and delivered some enthralling football over the past five days. From goalless stalemates to last minute antics, Week 6 of the Hero ISL 2018-19 campaign took us on a roller-coaster ride. Here are the results and the major talking points from the week gone by.
Match 35: FC Pune City 2-1 Jamshedpur FC (Match Report)
Match 36: FC Goa 1-2 Bengaluru FC (Match Report)
Match 37: NorthEast United FC 2-1 Kerala Blasters FC (Match Report)
Match 38: Mumbai City 0-0 ATK (Match Report)
Match 39: Jamshedpur FC 3-1 Chennaiyin FC (Match Report)
Pune finally come good
Prior to Wednesday’s match, Pune were enduring their worst start in Hero ISL history. The Stallions had failed to win a single match in their opening seven matches, picking up only two points from a possible 21. Week 6 brought about a fresh ray of hope for the Stallions, as the side put in a gritty display to pick up an unlikely victory over high-flyers Jamshedpur. A late debut goal from Matt Mills sealed the tie for the Maharashtra-based club and handed them their first victory of the season.
Chhetri to Bengaluru’s rescue
Thursday saw two of Hero ISL 2018-19’s finest teams face off against each other in what would prove to be a truly blockbuster encounter. Rahul Bheke opened the scoring for Bengaluru with an outrageous backheel effort in the first-half and when Goa's Mohamed Ali was sent-off early in the second-half, it looked as if Bengaluru would comfortably seal a victory. However, things turned sour when Dimas Delgado was sent-off for a dangerous challenge on Hugo Boumous. Goa quickly restored parity and were on the hunt for the victory. But up stepped captain fantastic Sunil Chhetri to score the winner for the Blues on the 77th minute with a trademark diving header. That goal took Chhetri to 26 goals in the Hero ISL, just two behind all-time top goal scorer Iain Hume.
Late, late drama in Guwahati
On Friday night, NorthEast United FC pulled off one of the greatest comebacks in Hero ISL history to register their first home victory of the season. Matej Poplatnik’s 73rd-minute header seemed destined to hand Kerala Blasters FC all three points. However, Eelco Schattorie and Co. had other ideas. The Highlanders equalised in the 91st minute through a penalty from Barthomolew Ogbeche. Juan Mascia, a 79th minute subsititute who won the penalty, then completed an astonishing comeback with an outstanding finish from the edge of the box, much to the delight of the NorthEast faithful.
Spanish trio sink the defending champions
Chennaiyin FC’s miserable start to the season continued on Sunday when they were put to the sword by a formidable Jamshedpur outfit. Goals from Mario Arques, Carlos Calvo and a screamer from Pablo Morgado proved too much for a deflated Chennaiyin. John Gregory would have been hoping for a lift in confidence after the side’s victory over Pune in their last outing, but it was not meant to be. Once again, their star players had failed to turn up, which has been one of the primary reasons for their stuttering start.