Top goalkeepers of Hero ISL 2018-19 so far
A top-class goalkeeper is the very foundation on which every successful team is built on. A safe pair of hands between the sticks not only gives the outfield players the freedom to express themselves on the pitch but also gives the team that slight edge they need to tip tight matches in their favour.
In the 59 matches played so far in the Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL) 2018-19, a total of 30 clean sheets have been registered, with fans witnessing some goalkeeping masterclasses. The ongoing winter break offers the perfect opportunity to take a closer look at some of the best goalkeepers in the league so far.
Gurpreet Singh Sandhu (Bengaluru FC)
The benchmark for shot-stoppers in the Hero ISL this season, Sandhu has hardly put a foot wrong in any of the 11 matches he has featured in. Conceding the least number of goals in the league so far, Sandhu is the frontrunner for the Golden Glove Award. His 28 saves, 66 catches and 39 clearances have been instrumental in helping the Blues stay unbeaten so far this season. The 26-year-old’s 77.77% save percentage is a major reason behind Carles Cuadrat’s men keeping four clean sheets.
Amrinder Singh (Mumbai City FC)
Trailing to only Gurpreet in the race for the Golden Glove Award, Mumbai’s Amrinder has played a pivotal role in helping the Islanders earn a league-high six clean sheets, five of which he has been personally responsible for. In his third season with the west-coast club, the 25-year-old has made 34 saves in 11 matches – the most by any goalkeeper so far. Amrinder’s save percentage is also in the higher 70s, signalling just how efficient the India international has become.
Arindam Bhattacharja (ATK)
With 24 saves in 12 matches so far, ATK’s Arindam Bhattacharja has impressed week in week out for the two-time Hero ISL champions. The 29-year-old has conceded just 11 goals so far, keeping four clean sheets along the way. Facing a total of 114 shots, Bhattacharja’s save percentage is close to 70% testifying to why he is Steve Coppell's first-choice keeper.
Mohammad Nawaz (FC Goa)
Being the last line of defence of an overtly attacking Gaurs side is no easy task, but 18-year-old Mohammad Nawaz has taken on the challenge head-on and thrived. The teenager has made 31 saves, cleared the ball 20 times and kept two clean sheets in the 11 matches he featured in so far. These are very impressive numbers considering he is the custodian of a side which is known to be very gung-ho with their attacking approach, leaving the defence vulnerable. The youngster has shown great agility and reflexes, and some of the saves he has pulled off this season borders 'miraculous'. Sergio Lobera's sides are known for playing out from the back and Nawaz has adapted to the system brilliantly. He boasts an impressive 81.5% passing accuracy, which is commendable for a goalkeeper.
Kamaljit Singh (FC Pune City)
FC Pune City have struggled in Hero ISL 2018-19, letting in 21 goals so far. However, despite the worrisome defensive record, Stallions goalkeeper Kamaljit Singh has had some impressive displays between the sticks. He has been left exposed time and again by a very ordinary-looking backline, but the 23-year-old stood strong, making a whopping 31 saves in just eight matches. Kamaljit also has a save percentage of 73.8%, which shows just how much worse off Pune could have been without him taking the last stand.
Dheeraj Singh (Kerala Blasters FC)
Much like Pune, Kerala Blasters haven't covered themselves in glory in the first half of the campaign and are currently languishing in the eighth position on the table. However, despite all their problems, the emergence of a certain 18-year-old goalkeeper has been like a silver lining in their faltering season. Dheeraj has been responsible for the two clean sheets the team has managed this season so far. Conceding six goals against Mumbai City FC in the final Hero ISL match of 2018 may have sullied Dheeraj's numbers somewhat, but 17 saves, 27 clearances and a 68.75% passing accuracy in his seven outings are still impressive returns for a teenager. The 18-year-old deserves a special mention in the list.