The enthralling opening week saw reigning champions Bengaluru suffer hiccups, Goa start brightly, and new arrival Bartholomew Ogbeche making his mark for Kerala Blasters. This week, after each team played three matches, Jamshedpur are the outright league leaders with seven points, having won twice and drawn once against Bengaluru.
Following the Jharkhand side are ATK in second place with six points, who bounced back after their opening day 2-1 loss to Kerala Blasters. In the two other play-off places, Goa and NorthEast United are sitting pretty with 5 points each after their 2-2 draw in Guwahati.
The thrilling stalemate included an injury-time sending off for the visiting side’s Seimenlen Doungel and also an equaliser from Manvir Singh.
Bengaluru are yet to win a match, drawing three matches against NorthEast United, Goa, and most recently, Jamshedpur. Chennaiyin are the only other team who are yet to register a win this season, and are at the bottom of the table.
HYDERABAD’S HISTORIC DAY
Playing their first-ever home match at the GMC Balayogi Athletic Stadium against Kerala Blasters, Phil Brown’s Hyderabad FC were under pressure to deliver after losing two successive matches — 5-0 against ATK, 3-1 against Jamshedpur.
But the rebranded outfit proved their mettle after going down to Rahul KP’s first-half goal for the opposition. They came back strongly in the second-half to provide the city of Hyderabad a memorable first tryst with the Indian Super League with a 2-1 win against the Kochi-side. After Marko Stankovic equalised from the spot in the 54th minute, Hyderabad left it late for the winner, which came in the 81st minute through the Brazilian Marcelinho.
WILLIAMS GETS THE 1000TH
ATK’s forward from Down Under, David Williams, apart from winning the Hero of the Month for October, set a landmark after scoring the league’s 1000th goal last Wednesday. His 48th-minute winning strike against Chennaiyin took his tally for the season up to a joint league-high three goals, and one assist too. His previous two goals came in the Kolkata-side’s 5-0 win over Hyderabad.
Leading the tally with the Australian is Odisha’s Aridane Santana with three goals, who is followed by the likes of Bartholomew Ogbeche, Asamoah Gyan, and Ferran Corominas, who all have scored two goals. The leading Indian goalscorer is NorthEast United’s Redeem Tlang who scored his second goal of the season against Goa.
Best Of Express
The JRD Tata Sports Complex in Jamshedpur witnessed two pair of safe hands on the opposite ends in Jamshedpur’s Subrata Paul and Bengaluru’s Gurpreet Singh Sandhu. Although the reigning champions were dominant in their display with nine shots on target, the man from Bengal kept out both Sunil Chhetri and Manuel Onwu to catapult them to the top of the table with the goalless draw.
While Paul registered his first clean sheet of the season, Gurpreet got his joint league-high second, along with Mumbai City’s Amrinder Singh and ARK’s Arindam Bhattacharja.
Apart from the Gaurs’ thrilling draw against the Highlanders, Odisha stole the headlines last week after winning their first match of the season. Josep Gombau’s men handed him his first victory of the season away at Mumbai after Aridane Santane’s brace helped Odisha win 4-2.
Odisha’s Jerry Mawhmingthanga caught the eye last week as he consolidated his position as the top provider in the league, with three assists.