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Indian Super League 2020-21 Season Review: Hyderabad FC

Published at :March 21, 2021 at 8:48 PM
Modified at :December 13, 2023 at 1:01 PM
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(Courtesy : ISL Media)


The Nizams were the most improved side as they narrowly missed out on playoffs qualification.

Hyderabad FC set the stage alight in the seventh edition of the Indian Super League. The second season for the outfit was a huge improvement from the inaugural 2019-20 campaign, where they had finished last in the standings. 

Manolo Marquez had a huge impact during his first season in Indian football, as he guided Hyderabad to a fifth-place finish. Despite staying in contention for the playoffs throughout, the Nizams missed out on qualification on the final day due to a string of draws and dropped points. 

Fact Sheet For Hyderabad FC in Indian Super League Season 2020-21

Hyderabad FC Fact Sheet

Top Performers

1. Asish Rai

Asish Rai

Asish Rai was in sensational form throughout the season until he picked up an injury in the last few games. The right-back’s industry on the flank and constant threat in the attacking third made him a tough operator for the opposition to contain. He made 771 passes, second-most in the squad, on top of delivering 47 crosses.

2. Akash Mishra

Akash Mishra Hyderabad FC

Akash Mishra was a revelation in the season gone by. He was the pick of the Indian players and made a huge impression, which earned him a national team call-up. The 19-year-old went toe-to-toe with Asish Rai and was the highest passer in the squad with 827 successful passes. He also provided two assists and showed a lot of promise in both attack and defence. 

3. Chinglensana Singh

Chinglensana Singh Hyderabad FC

Hyderabad FC had one of the best defences in the league and a large part of the credit goes to their Indian centre-back Chinglensana Singh. The Indian trio of defenders formed a solid partnership combined with Odei Onaindia. The 24-year-old also got a national team call-up thanks to his breakthrough season.

Underperformer of the Season

Joel Chianese Hyderabad FC

Joel Chianese had a lot of expectations to fulfill, as he stepped out in HFC colours from Perth Glory in the A-League. However, injuries and patchy form did not allow the attacker to stamp his authority on the league. He was able to score only three goals and make one assist in 12 appearances for the team.

Games Played: 12

Goals: 3

Assists: 1

Touches: 302

Passing Accuracy: 54.85%

Shots: 15

Yellow Cards: 1

Top Performances 

1. Chennaiyin FC 1-4 Hyderabad FC
WATCH: FT: Chennaiyin FC 1-4 Hyderabad FC

2. NorthEast United FC 2-4 Hyderabad FC
WATCH: FT: NorthEast United 2-4 Hyderabad FC

3. Hyderabad FC 4-0 Kerala Blasters FC
WATCH: Hyderabad FC 4-0 Kerala Blasters

Manager’s Report Card

Manolo Marquez had a lot of experience as a head coach before testing the Indian football waters. The Spaniard had to deal with the after-effects of a bad previous season and an inexperienced squad. However, he took the challenges in his stride. He put his faith in young Indian players, which delivered fruitful results.

The coach earned heaps of praise from HFC fans and neutrals for promoting Indian youngsters and the club were clearly impressed by his vision. As a result, they offered him a two-year extension too.

Lessons to be Learned

Despite playing with a young squad and trusting domestic talents to lead from the front, Hyderabad did need some experienced heads in crunch situations. Foreign recruitment can be polished even further, which would compliment and help the younger players in the team. The club should not deviate from their philosophy and an alternate plan must be fashioned to turn draws into wins. 

Fan View

Kanika Negi

Watching Hyderabad FC was very entertaining. The coach and his ideas were a breath of fresh air. Watching young players like Asish Rai and Akash Mishra earn praise for their performances was a proud moment as a fan.

It was frustrating to see the team drop so many points due to draws and I hope we can work towards fixing this issue in the next season. Overall, this season was a huge improvement on last year. The disappointment of losing out on playoffs is there, but the future looks bright for the club and the fans.