Matchweek 16 of the Indian Super League (ISL) 2023-24 season showcased some exceptional goals garnished with impressive footwork and passion for the sport. 

NorthEast United FC kicked off the week handing FC Goa their second successive defeat in a span of seven days. In the following game at the Furnace, Jamshedpur FC turned things around from 1-0 down to take home all three points against East Bengal FC. 

Mumbai City registered a 2-0 win over Chennaiyin FC to climb to second place on the league table, on Friday. 

Saturday’s doubleheader featured the only goalless fixture of the week with Odisha FC and Mohun Bagan SG sharing the spoils in an end-to-end battle, followed by Bengaluru FC securing a hard-fought win at home against Hyderabad FC. 

To wrap things up in Matchweek 16, Dimitrios Diamantakos' heroics spearheaded Kerala Blasters FC to an epic comeback, from 2-0 down at halftime to finishing the game with a scoreline of 2-4, securing all three points against a desperate FC Goa with both the teams having taken the pitch after back-to-back losses. 

As the dust settles on Matchweek 16, here is a look at the key takeaways from the week gone by.

Tomi Juric adds his name to a list of greats

The Australian bagged his fifth goal of the season converting from the spot when the Highlanders travelled to face FC Goa. With five goals to his name after making just four appearances in the ISL, Juric has enlisted himself as one of the most impactful signings in the league, with only Sunil Chhetri (6 goals) and Ferran Corominas (7 goals) having scored more goals after their first four games in the league’s history.

Jeremy Manzorro, the free-kick specialist

Manzorro had already shown his class by scoring two direct free-kicks against Punjab FC in the previous matchweek. Playing East Bengal FC at home in Matchweek 16, the French midfielder found the back of the net with yet another direct freekick, making him only the second player in the league’s history to score directly from a free-kick in two back-to-back matches, following Elano Blumer, who achieved the same feat for Chennaiyin FC in the inaugural season of the ISL.

Mumbai City FC continue their dominance against Chennaiyin FC

At the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Chennai, the Islanders handed the home team a 2-0 defeat. With this victory, Mumbai City FC have won each of their last six games against the Marina Machans in the ISL, their outright longest such streak against any opponent in the league’s history. In all competitions, this was their ninth straight win against the South Indian side. 

Deepak Tangri reaches his peak

With an exceptional display against Odisha FC in Matchweek 16, defensive midfielder Deepak Tangri helped Mohun Bagan SG keep a clean sheet against a star-studded side that featured clinical forwards like Diego Mauricio and Roy Krishna up front. The 25-year-old won back possession 11 times while also registering five successful tackles against the Kalinga Warriors, both numbers being his highest in any ISL game.

Hyderabad FC finally score after a six-game drought

Winless so far this season, Hyderabad FC have only found the back of the net on six occasions this season in their 16 matches, having the worst attacking stat in the ISL 2023-24 season. Against Bengaluru FC, Ramhlunchhunga scored his first-ever ISL goal which snapped a run of six games without scoring for Hyderabad FC in the league this season, their longest run of such games in ISL. Their last league goal came back in December 2023, against NorthEast United FC.

However, the night ended in heartbreak for Hyderabad FC who went down to a late Sivasakthi goal. Sunil Chhetri who made his 150th ISL appearance ended up on the winning side but it was the youngsters from both sides who stole the limelight on his special night.

Kerala Blasters FC script historic comeback

In the final game of Matchweek 16, Kerala Blasters FC registered all three points against FC Goa in an extraordinary fashion. The Gaurs entered the second half with a two-goal lead but goals from Daisuke Sakai, Dimitrios Diamantakos and Fedor Cernych saw the Blasters finish off the match with a 4-2 scoreline for Ivan Vukomanovic’s team, scripting one of the greatest comebacks in the league’s history.

The win has got them right back in contention for the League Shield.