Weekly round-up: Qualification joy, derby encounters and eye-catching goals
Hero Indian Super League (ISL) 2017-18’s twelfth match-week concluded on Sunday and brought with it plenty of goals, edge-of-the-seat encounters, joys and disappointments. One team has cemented their position for the playoffs, while there were a few who have all to do but give up their hopes of making the same following their setbacks. There were two derbies this week – a southern derby and the ‘Maha’ derby – and here’s a lowdown on how the matches fared and what were the factors which made the week entertaining.
Match 65: Chennaiyin FC 1 – 3 Bengaluru FC (Match Report)
Match 66: NorthEast United FC 0 – 1 FC Pune City (Match Report)
Match 67: ATK 2 – 2 Kerala Blasters (Match Report)
Match 68: Bengaluru FC 2 – 0 FC Goa (Match Report)
Match 69: Jamshedpur FC 1 – 0 NorthEast United FC (Match Report)
Match 70: Mumbai City FC 0 – 2 FC Pune City (Match Report)
Match 71: Delhi Dynamos FC 1 – 1 Chennaiyin FC (Match Report)
Bengaluru FC become first team to qualify for the playoffs: The Blues won both their matches during the match week as they overcame a spirited Channaiyin FC in the southern derby while also getting the better of FC Goa at home. The Blues now comfortably lead the standings with a five-point advantage over their nearest rivals Pune.
Match of firsts at Kolkata: Last season’s finalists faced each other at the Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan this week, and all four scorers bagged their maiden goals. Gudjon Baldvinsson’s header was cancelled out by Ryan Taylor’s strike in the first half while Dimitar Berbatov’s volleyed goal in the second period was levelled by Tom Thorpe’s header.
Jamshedpur ride a wonder strike to victory against the Highlanders: Jamshedpur FC are going strong in their debut season, but NorthEast made life difficult for them with more possession and better chances. However, ex-NorthEast player Wellington Priori struck with a stunning bicycle kick to bag the winner and all three points as Jamshedpur climbed to third spot in the league standings.
Marcelinho and Pune keep firing as Mumbai’s home woes continue: FC Pune City were another team to win two fixtures this week; both of which were away. Marcelinho’s winner bagged three points for the Stallions in their match against Northeast United FC and they also earned bragging rights in the season’s second ‘Maha’ derby against local rivals Mumbai City FC, another match in which the Brazilian found the back of the net.
Chennaiyin’s winless week: The 2015 Hero ISL champions had a match to forget in the southern derby against Bengaluru as they had their captain Henrique Sereno sent off in a 3 – 1 defeat earlier. They performed better while facing Chennai against whom they were staring at defeat before being saved by Alves’ late header.