Matchweek 8 of the Indian Super League (ISL) 2023-24 season started with a bang with the first two matches having being roller-coaster rides. Intense attacking gameplay and some individual brilliance were hallmarks of both the games. These two games were not the games where defenders shined however attackers were the main focus in both the games.

Kerala Blasters FC faced Chennaiyin FC in the first game and Bengaluru FC faced Punjab FC in the second game. Both matches ended with 3-3 scorelines and both matches followed very similar paths.

Visitors take surprise lead

Chennaiyin FC opened the scoring in the first game of the matchweek away to Kerala Blasters FC in the first minute of the game with a goal by Indian forward Rahim Ali. The quick strike took Kerala Blasters FC by surprise and turned the game into a very interesting one.

Punjab FC also took the lead in the second game against Bengaluru FC in the 19th minute of the game with a goal by Indian defender Nikhil Prabhu which turned the tide of the game in Punjab FC's favor.

Home team bounces back

Kerala Blasters FC equalised the score in the 11th minute of the game with a goal by Greek forward Dimitrios Diamantakos. The goal did calm a lot of Kerala Blasters FC nerves.

Bengaluru FC equalised the score with a goal by Indian central midfielder Harsh Patre in the 21st minute of the game.

Visitors respond and run away

Chennaiyin FC took the lead and doubled it in quick succession with a brace by Jordan Murray in the 13th and 24th minute of the game. These two goals made it look like Chennaiyin FC were running away with the game.

Punjab FC scored twice and took the lead again in the match against Bengaluru FC with goals from defender Dimitrios Chatziisaias and forward Luka Majcen in the 26th and 30th minute of the game. With a two-goal lead, Punjab FC would have felt their first-ever win in the ISL was on the cards.

Home team fights back

Kerala Blasters FC came back in the game with two goals from forwards Kwame Peprah and Dimitrios Diamantakos in the 38th and 59th minute of the game and eventually ended tieing the score and drawing the game at the end of full time.

Bengaluru FC also fought back with goals from forward Curtis Main and attacking midfielder Javi Hernandez in the first-half stoppage time and in the 67th minute in the second half.

There was a lot of dominance by forwards in the first game. All of the six goals were scored by forwards in the first game. 

The second game was much more balanced as players from all thirds of the pitch contributed to the goals. Alongwith forwards, defenders and midfielders also contributed with goals in the Bengaluru FC vs Punjab FC game.

However, there couldn't have been a better way for ISL to resume after the international break with two thrilling 3-3 draws. What made it even more special was how strikingly same the two matches were in terms of the drama. Hopefully, there is more entertainment in store as we approach the new year.