Young domestic forwards thrived in the league this past week.

15 goals in five games kept the Indian Super League (ISL) 2021-22 audiences on the edge of their seats this last gameweek. Hyderabad FC continue to sit at the top of the table, followed by Jamshedpur FC and Kerala Blasters. ATK Mohun Bagan jumped back into the top four after a come-from-behind 3-1 win over arch-rivals SC East Bengal.

The story of this ISL 2021-22 gameweek was about two youngsters – Kiyan Nassiri and Lara Sharma. While the world is going gaga over the former, the latter made a strong impression in the football circuit. Nassiri scored a hat-trick off the bench to bring all three points for ATKMB, while Sharma kept a clean-sheet against Chennaiyin FC. Let’s check out Khel Now’s Team of the Week for ISL 2021-22 Gameweek 15.

Note: The team was picked based on matches between January 25 and 29.

Goalkeeper: Lara Sharma (Bengaluru FC)

Lara Sharma
Lara made some spectacular saves in his first start (Courtesy: ISL Media)

Replacing Gurpreet Singh Sandhu is no mean task, let alone in a high-octane clash against Chennaiyin FC. The young goalkeeper, however, made the most of the opportunity.

He kept out a glorious opportunity that fell kindly to Lukasz Gikiewicz in the ninth minute from point-blank range and then went from strength-to-strength. At 22, the young goalkeeper is set for bigger and better things.

Right-Back: Provat Lakra (NorthEast United)

The ever-reliable Lakra has been one of NEUFC’s most consistent players since he donned the jersey for the first time. Against Mumbai City FC, he was the best defender for the Highlanders, registering two clearances and three tackles. In addition, he also won all the duels he participated in against the rampaging pair of Bipin Singh and Brad Inman.

Centre-Back: Tiri (ATK Mohun Bagan)

Tiri
Tiri also became the first foreign player to make 100 Indian Super League appearances (Courtesy: ISL Media)

ATK Mohun Bagan attacked East Bengal incessantly in the first half, but the Red and Gold managed to open the scoring. Spanish defender Tiri, however, ensured no such exceptions took place again and kept his backline watertight.

The 30-year-old was the best defensive player on the pitch, registering four interceptions and blocking an attempt. He also won all aerial duels and clocked 88% passing accuracy, making sure ATKMB dominated the ball from the back.

Centre-Back: Ivan Gonzalez (FC Goa)

Calm and composed as ever, Ivan Gonzalez was the best defender on the pitch against Jamshedpur FC. His team might have gone down 1-0, but he made four interceptions, four tackles and won four ground duels to make sure the door was shut for most of the encounter.

He also made a key pass, but FC Goa failed to convert that chance. Goa will continue to rely on their most experienced defender going forward.

Left-Back: Akash Mishra (Hyderabad FC)

Akash Mishra
Mishra scored and assisted in the same game against Odisha FC (Courtesy: ISL Media)

It was sheer delight to watch Mishra torment the Odisha FC’s defence down the right channel. The left-back was in ominous form, assisting Joel Chianese for the first goal in the 51st minute.

Later, in the 73rd minute, he found the back of the net himself and the celebration showed how much it meant for him. It was the winning goal and the Nizams continue their good form.

Central Midfielder: Ahmed Jahouh (Mumbai City FC)

The best player on the pitch by a mile, Ahmed Jahouh created several opportunities for the Islanders, but his forwards failed to convert them.

He found the back of the net from the spot in the 30th minute and created five glorious chances. His two clearances, three interceptions and three clutch tackles made sure his team walked away with a point against NorthEast United.

Central Midfielder: Joao Victor (Hyderabad FC)

The ever-so-enterprising Joao Victor put in another dominant display against Odisha FC, leading his side to three points yet again. Victor scored in the 70th minute with a wonderful volley and made sure the screening just in front of the defensive line was done right.

He won all aerial duels he participated in and made two crucial interceptions. His performance showed why coach Manolo Marquez puts in so much trust in his versatile skipper.

ISL 2021-22 Team of the Week
ISL 2021-22 Team of Gameweek 15

Right Winger: Udanta Singh (Bengaluru FC)

At the start of the ISL 2021-22 season, it seemed Udanta Singh is back to what he does best – roar down the right side of the pitch. After a lull, the winger is back again, scoring twice against Chennaiyin FC.

He also created a good chance in the second half and most of his dribbles were successful. He was a menace for Jerry Lalrinzuala and Narayan Das and will look to add to this form.

Left Winger: Liston Colaco (ATK Mohun Bagan)

Liston Colaco
Liston hit the crossbar twice and played a role in two of the three goals (Courtesy: ISL Media)

Is he the best Indian footballer at the moment? If his performance against SC East Bengal is anything to go by, there won’t be too many hands in denial. Colaco was absolutely scintillating in the Kolkata Derby, with his continuous pressing and irresistible attacks creating two of the three goals for young Kiyan Nassiri.

In the last 30-odd minutes, every time he was on the ball, Colaco created something. A memorable performance to take home!

Striker: Sunil Chhetri (Bengaluru FC)

Welcome back, captain! Last month, I was discussing how Sunil Chhetri can be brought back into the Bengaluru FC side and we had zeroed in on the No. 9 role.

Marco Pezzaiuoli seems to have overheard our conversation, as the captain lead the line (and how!) against Chennaiyin FC. He dribbled past four Chennaiyin players to create for Udanta Singh and the No. 11 looks to be back!

Striker: Kiyan Nassiri (ATK Mohun Bagan)

Kiyan Nassiri
Nassiri scored a fabulous hat-trick in the Kolkata Derby (Courtesy: ISL Media)

The headliner of the week, and why not! Imagine answering these questions with ‘Yes’: Did you score a goal in the Kolkata Derby? Did you score with your first-ever touch in the Kolkata Derby? Did you score a hat-trick on your Kolkata Derby debut? Are you the youngster scorer for ATK Mohun Bagan in the Indian Super League?

Nassiri, son of East Bengal legend Jamshid Nassiri, tore apart the East Bengal defence on Saturday evening. Kibu Vicuna must be a happy man in Poland, having signed the youngster for Mohun Bagan!

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