The tenth matchday of the Indian Super League was filled with exciting all-round action, as its five matches produced 19 goals.
Among the key talking points were Hyderabad’s return to winning ways in some style against Chennaiyin FC, Odisha FC’s first win of the season after eight failed attempts and Bright Enobakhare’s outstanding solo goal. Here is the round-up from matchday 10:
East Bengal’s defence might not nearly be the best in the land, but their keeper certainly has been absolutely outstanding. Debjit Majumder does have to shoulder the blame for the goal that his side conceded against FC Goa, but he can certainly be forgiven as he made a number of crucial and superb saves to keep his side in the match prior to that. The ex-ATK shot-stopper made eight saves, including three from shots inside the box, and two punches and high claims.
RB: Asish Rai (HFC) – 8 *Young Player of the Week*
After a few rather disappointing weeks, Hyderabad FC were back at their fluid best against Chennaiyin FC, and therefore it is fitting that one of their men wins Young Player of the Week yet again. Asish Rai was superb at right-back, as he won 10/14 duels, got 83 touches, attempted nine long balls, made four clearances, three tackles and two interceptions, completed three out of three dribbles, delivered two crosses, created two chances and hit the crossbar once.
RCB: Mourtada Fall (MCFC) – 8.5
While the likes of Ahmed Jahouh, Hugo Boumous and Adam le Fondre are stealing the spotlight for Mumbai City this season, perhaps their most important player has been Mourtada Fall. The Senegalese defender hasn’t had a single bad game, and he was outstanding yet again when he came up against Bengaluru FC, in a match where he opened the scoring too. Further, he made 10 clearances, got 72 touches, completed 91% of his passes, won six out of seven aerial duels and made three tackles and interceptions.
LCB: Steven Taylor (OFC) – 8
Our second centre-back is also a man who scored from a set-piece this week – Steven Taylor of Odisha FC. Besides his smart finish when he was found unmarked at the back post after a free-kick, the English defender made 5 clearances and 2 interceptions, blocked 3 shots and contested 2 duels.
LB: Mandar Rao Dessai (MCFC) – 8
After impressing early on, Mandar Rao Dessai missed almost the entirety of December due to an unfortunate personal loss and the mandatory quarantine that followed. He was back with a bang against Bengaluru FC when he had an absolute field day on the left wing and got an assist to show for it. To add to that, he made 50 touches, completed 90% of his passes, delivered three crosses and created two chances.
CDM: João Victor (HFC) – 8.5
The man at the centre of it all in Hyderabad FC’s dominant victory over Chenniayin FC was João Victor, who properly bossed proceedings in midfield and scored an absolute cracker. Alongside that, the Spaniard got 70 touches, completed 85% of his passes, completed 4.5 long balls, won seven out of 10 duels, made four tackles and interceptions, created three chances and made as many clearances.
RW: Bipin Singh (MCFC) – 8
The key to Mandar Rao Dessai’s success on the left flank against Bengaluru FC was Bipin Singh, whose movements infield vacated the space for the full-back. However, in our Team of the Week, he will have to make do with a spot on the right, as one left winger outdid him this week. Bipin wasn’t bad either, though, as he profited off Mandar Rao Dessai’s assist. completed 85% of his passes, delivered three crosses, made three tackles and interceptions and created two chances himself.
CAM: Bright Enobakhare (SCEB) – 8
Bright Enobakhare excited many when he scored on debut against Odisha FC, and he certainly sparkled in his first ISL start against FC Goa. The ex-Wolverhampton Wanderers man scored a sensational Goal of the Season contender when he strolled past half of the opposition defence all alone before slotting past the keeper, and he also had many other good moments in the match. The Nigerian youngster scored with his only shot, got 53 touches, completed 88% of his passes, made five out of eight successful dribbles, won 15/22 duels, drew eight fouls and whipped in four crosses in a dazzling display.
LW: Halicharan Narzary (HFC) – 8.5
If it wasn’t for Diego Maurício’s stellar display against SC East Bengal, Halicharan Narzary would have surely taken Player of the Week. He scored two absolute crackers – the first a powerful and precise shot which left the keeper helpless as it went in off the post, while the second was a cool finish in a one-on-one situation after he covered half of the length of the pitch. The 26-year-old winger finished the match with 51 touches, a pass completion rate of 78%, five attempted crosses and two goals from as many shots.
ST: Roy Krishna (ATKMB) – 8
A wise man once said, “In this world, nothing is certain except death, taxes and 1-0 Roy Krishna from a set-piece in the second half”. The Fijian striker was at it again when ATK Mohun Bagan took on NorthEast United, as he opened the scoring with a tight-angled finish just a few minutes into the second period. Last season’s joint top-scorer worked hard otherwise too, contesting 14 duels, drawing three fouls and getting 31 touches.
ST: Diego Maurício (OFC) – 9 *Player of the Week*
For the first time this season, an Odisha FC man has taken our Player of the Week title, and Diego Maurício certainly deserves it. The brilliant Brazilain attacker played a hand in his side’s first goal as his deflected cross crept in past the keeper, and then he scored a sizzling brace. First up was a smart finishing following a perfectly-timed run in a one-on-one situation, and then came an outstanding strike from distance after he had skipped past two defenders. The 26-year-old striker also sent four out of six shots on target, took 54 touches, won four out of five duels, created two chances and completed 81% of his passes.
GK: Albino Gomes (KBFC) – 7
RB/CB: Jacob Tratt (OFC) – 7.5
CB: Dylan Fox (NEU) – 7.5
CB: Tiri (ATKMB) – 7.5
LB: Hendry Antonay (OFC) – 8
CDM/CB: Carl McHugh (ATKMB) – 7.5
CDM: Cole Alexander (OFC) – 7.5
RW: Jerry Mawihmingthanga (OFC) – 7.5
RW/CAM: Mohammad Yasir (HFC) – 7.5
Manager of the Week:
Stuart Baxter (OFC)
Many managers impressed on matchday 10, including Manuel Márquez Roca, who brought his Hyderabad FC side back to winning ways after three straight defeats, and Robbie Fowler, who oversaw a hard-fought draw for SC East Bengal against FC Goa. However, the Manager of the Week accolade must go to Stuart Baxter, who finally got his first win in India in his ninth attempts. The ex-England under-19 manager had persisted with an identical lineup in his last five matches, but some slight changes including a switch to a 4-4-2 won the day for his side against the Blasters.
Manuel Márquez Roca (HFC)
Robbie Fowler (SCEB)
Goal of the Week:
Bright Enobakhare (SCEB) vs FCG
We saw some absolute bangers scored this week, but the pick of the bunch easily was Bright Enobakhare’s outstanding solo effort against FC Goa. He skipped past half of the FC Goa defence like they weren’t even there while slaloming around in the box and slotting past the distraught keeper.
João Victor (HFC) vs CFC
Halicharan Narzary (1) (HFC) vs CFC
Diego Maurício (OFC) vs KBFC
Assist of the Week:
Mandar Rao Dessai (MCFC) vs BFC
As far as pinpoint crosses go, they don’t get much better than what Mandar Rao Dessai produced for Bipin Singh against Bengaluru FC. The 28-year-old full-back whipped a beauty in between two defenders to leave his winger with a tap-in.
Saviour Gama (FCG) vs SCEB
Jerry Mawihmingthanga (OFC) vs KBFC
Save of the Week:
Debjit Majumdar (SCEB) vs FCG
A key player in East Bengal’s draw against FC Goa was Debjit Majumder, as we discussed previously, and he made a number of fine stops too. The best of the bunch was this diving stop to save Saviour Gama’s deflected effort, where the keeper had to make an adjustment after he had set himself.
Albino Gomes (KBFC) vs OFC
Miss of the Week:
Danny Fox (SCEB) vs FCG
SC East Bengal did well to earn a point against FC Goa, but they could very easily have had all three if Danny Fox scored his first goal since his days at Southampton. Raju Gaikwad launched a long throw to find him free at the back post, but he somehow missed the target altogether.
Aaron-Amadi Holloway (SCEB) vs FCG