It was an eventful gameweek in the ISL, with Kerala Blasters getting their third win while NorthEast United ended their winless run.
The 13th gameweek of the 2020-21 season of the Indian Super League (ISL) concluded with Rhul KP’s last-gasp winner for Kerala Blasters against Bengaluru FC, who have failed to win any of their last six games.
Mumbai City FC retain top spot, five points ahead of ATK Mohun Bagan, after the Mariners were held by FC Goa. We at Khel Now take you through the things we learnned this gameweek:
5. Misfiring Valskis a cause for concern for Jamshedpur FC
The Lithuanian hit the ground running for the Men of Steel following his summer move to the club from Chennaiyin FC. However, the striker has failed to find his shooting boots in recent games and its quickly becoming a cause for concern for Owen Coyle.
Against NEUFC, Jamshedpur FC slumped to their third straight defeat, with Valskis passing up an opportunity for an equalizer late on in the game. Goals from Ashutosh Mehta and Deshorn Brown saw Khalid Jamil’s men get off to a dream start which they then maintained till the final whistle.
4. Striking the balance between defence and attack key for ATKMB’s ACL aspirations
Second-placed ATK Mohun Bagan have proven themselves to be one of the hardest teams to break down in the ongoing ISL 2020-21 season. With just five goals conceded, the Mariners are second-best in terms of defence in the league. However, with just 11 goals scored, only Chennaiyin FC have a worse attacking record than the Kolkata side.
If Roy Krishna and co harbour aspirations of playing in the AFC Champions League, they have to start putting away the chances that fall to them. Against Goa, the Mariners let a tight lead slip in the final minutes to lose further ground to MCFC.
3. Should East Bengal keep faith with Robbie Fowler for the medium term?
With 12 points in 12 games, East Bengal and head coach Robbie Fowler find themselves in 10th spot on the table, in what was turning out to be quite a wretched first season in the ISL. However, the Kolkata side have gone seven games without defeat in the league, just when it seemed as though Fowler’s time at the club was at an end.
The match against Chennaiyin FC saw Fowler’s side go down to 10 men after 30 minutes when Ajay Chettri was shown red for a rash challenge. However, SCEB persevered with goalkeeper Debjit Majumder putting in a stellar performance to keep the South Indian side at bay.
2. Albert Roca- The unsung hero of Hyderabad FC’s success story
It came as a hammer blow to many Hyderabad FC fans when Albert Roca expressed his desire to part ways with the Nizams after FC Barcelona came calling to welcome him back into their coaching setup. The Catalan signed a two-year contract with the club in January and had been working to build the team that is currently exceeding all expectations.
Under his successor Manolo Marquez, HFC have looked like a force to be reckoned with, sitting in fourth place in the table. The Nizams’ fine form looked all set to continue against strugglers Odisha FC, but for a fine strike from Cole Alexander in the second half to deny the Hyderabad club all three points.
1. Are BFC throwing away a season by sticking with Naushad Moosa?
Following a poor run of form, Carles Cuadrat was relieved of his duties as Bengaluru FC head coach after a very successful period in-charge of the Blues. The club then opted to promote reserve team manager Naushad Moosa to the role of interim head coach for the rest of the campaign.
However, there are growing concerns that the job may have been too big for the former defender. With the likes of Eelco Schattorie, Pradhyum Reddy and Phil Brown available as experienced alternatives to Moosa, it may be that BFC have jumped the gun by giving the 49-year-old the job.