ISL 2023-24: Team of Matchweek 7
With the upcoming matchweek set for Wednesday, we present to you the FC Goa-dominated Team of Matchweek 7.
Matchweek 7 of the Indian Super League (ISL) 2023-24 season showcased the intense competition among the clubs, as all fixtures were closely contested. There were two draws and two narrow wins this week, both with just a single-goal margin. Ryan Edwards’ last-minute red card against East Bengal FC and Victor Rodriguez’s appearance as a super sub to score and hand FC Goa their fifth win this season were the highlights of matchweek 7.
After an enthralling week, FC Goa have climbed up to the top of the table, overtaking Kerala Blasters FC, while Hyderabad FC still continue to search for their first win of the season.
With the upcoming matchweek set for Wednesday, we've selected the best eleven players from matchweek 7, with a 4-4-2 formation. Unsurprisingly, the Team of the Week consists of five FC Goa players.
Gurpreet Singh Sandhu (Bengaluru FC)
The Punjabi goalkeeper showed brilliance between the posts when the Blues travelled to Guwahati to play NorthEast United FC. Nestor Albiach almost gave the Highlanders an early lead in the 10th minute of the match when he found himself unmarked inside the six-yard box but Sandhu’s immaculate positioning on the line prevented the ball from going in, keeping the scores level. Sandhu was constantly called into action as the NorthEast FC players kept attacking till the very last minute. Although he couldn’t get a clean sheet to his name, the only goal he conceded was a deflection from his own defender, Aleksandar Jovanovic, where he had no chance.
Nikhil Poojary (Hyderabad FC)
The 28-year-old right-back made several key contributions from the right flank of the Hyderabad FC defence in their narrow defeat against neighbours, Kerala Blasters FC. He also made a significant number of tackles and interceptions, which forced a top-form Kerala Blasters FC team to break a sweat and win with only a goal advantage.
Milos Drincic (Kerala Blasters FC)
The Montenegrin centre-back caught all eyes on Saturday when he scored the winner for the Blasters, against Hyderabad FC. On completion of his three-match suspension, due to his conceding a red card against Mumbai City FC back in October, Drincic ensured his return to be memorable by scoring his first goal in the ISL.
Sandesh Jhingan (FC Goa) - Captain
Jhingan has been the epitome of consistency when it comes to defending. Be it for the Indian men’s football team or for the Gaurs, Jhingan has shown that he can be relied on when the team is under attack. The 30-year-old centre-back helped his team keep their fourth clean sheet so far this season, with his well-timed blocks and physicality, when they edged past Jamshedpur FC at home.
Jay Gupta (FC Goa)
The Gaurs have displayed a rock-solid defence thus far in ISL 2023-24. Apart from Jhingan, another player who has been instrumental in their defensive feat is the Maharashtra-born defender, Jay Gupta. The 22-year-old has already established himself as a reliable starter for his club and his perfectly executed tackle to break attacking movements from the opposition was crucial in their 1-0 win against the Red Miners.
Boris Singh Thangjam (FC Goa)
Another FC Goa player on the list. The Manipuri winger has created quite a few movements for the Gaurs so far this season, bagging himself a goal in the process, against Chennaiyin FC. His pace and passing accuracy have been quite impactful in leading his team to their fifth win this season. Falling back whenever needed while also supporting their attacks, Thangjam has displayed an impressive work rate justifying his presence in this list.
Rowllin Borges (FC Goa)
One of the most experienced players on this list, who has had a great week when FC Goa scraped past Jamshedpur FC, is the man from Goa, Rowllin Borges. He has created quite a few chances for his club against the Red Miners and played like a commander on the field. The 31-year-old defensive midfielder rattled the crossbar in the 22nd minute of the match but unfortunately couldn’t find his second goal of the season.
Rafael Crivellaro (Chennaiyin FC)
The Marina Machans’ talisman has been the centre for Chennaiyin FC’s attacking movements. The Brazilian midfielder has contributed to five goals in seven matches, comprising two goals and three assists, the latest coming in their match against East Bengal FC when his assist led to their 86th-minute equaliser, securing them a point from the match. The 34-year-old has shown quite a creative display producing chance after chance for his team.
Adrian Luna (Kerala Blasters FC)
The Uruguayan attacking midfielder was in dazzling form as usual, this week, when the Blasters secured their fifth win this season, against Hyderabad FC. His form has been one of the major reasons for the Kerala Blasters' scintillating performance. He provided a delightful assist for Drincic who headed the ball in the back of the net to score the winner. With this assist, the 31-year-old now has six goal contributions in seven matches, having scored thrice and assisted thrice.
Naorem Mahesh Singh (East Bengal FC)
The 24-year-old winger has proven himself to be the silver lining for the club amidst their poor start to the season. Mahesh has been a real threat to his opponents when he makes his way through the defence utilising his pace and footwork. With two goals to his name already this season, the Manipuri failed to find the back of the net against Chennaiyin FC. But his runs from the wing were pivotal to the Red and Gold Brigade as it served them with numerous chances and created space for his teammates.
Victor Rodriguez (FC Goa)
Rodriguez was brought on as a substitute against Jamshedpur FC in the 62nd minute of the match. It didn’t take him much time to create an impact as within the next 20 minutes Rodriguez found his name on the scoresheet, converting Udanta Singh’s exceptional cross with an even more impressive header.
Head coach: Manolo Marquez