The five matches saw 23 goals scored despite two 1-1 draws.
What an amazing week it has been for goalscorers, and a forgettable one for the defenders as we step into the third week of the Indian Super League (ISL) 2021-22. As many as 23 goals in five games, including a 6-4 scoreline, tell you that scorecard updaters have had a busy week at work. We, for one, aren’t complaining.
Champions Mumbai City FC made amends to their 3-1 drubbing against Hyderabad FC with a roaring 5-1 win over heavyweights ATK Mohun Bagan. Odisha FC yet again plundered the goals, with SC East Bengal at the receiving end. Let’s take a look at the ISL 2021-22 Team of the Gameweek 3.
Goalkeeper – Vishal Kaith (Chennaiyin FC)
Amidst all the fanfare of ATK Mohun Bagan and Mumbai City FC, one club has got the job done with six points in two encounters – Chennaiyin FC. One player, who’s been instrumental in the journey has been Kaith, the goalkeeper who has made sure his net hasn’t bugled. If they win their game against SC East Bengal, the Marina Machans will sit comfortably at the top of the table, as the only team to have won all three of its games.
Right back – Laldinliana Renthlei (Jamshedpur FC)
Knowing the full-backs of Hyderabad FC and their attacking intent, Renthlei had a lot at hand, keeping both Aniket Jadhav and Akash Mishra silent. The 23-year-old did not just perform well, but also contributed in the attacking half. However, his defending stood out. six tackles, three clearances, six ground duels won and two crosses got him into our ISL 2021-22 TOTW.
Centre back: Hector Rodas (Odisha FC)
At this moment, Rodas isn’t running on the football pitch, he’s flying. After a brilliant outing against Bengaluru FC in the first game and a fiery goalscoring spell against SC East Bengal, he continues to feature in our TOTW. Rodas is crucial to Odisha FC’s plans, and the Spaniard looks in no mood to drop the momentum.
Centre back: Mourtada Fall (Mumbai City FC)
One of the fiercest centre-back in the ISL is back with what he does best – rallying his co-defenders and scoring headed goals. Against ATK Mohun Bagan, Fall did not just score a goal, but also won almost all of his aerial duels, nullifying the threat of Roy Krishna with aplomb. Mumbai City FC will look to ride on this momentum and their upcoming oppositions needs to watch out for him!
Left back: Jessel Carneiro (Kerala Blasters FC)
The left back ensured his team went home with one point in the bag against Bengaluru FC. He made seven clearances in the previous gameweek, added to four crucial interceptions. The 31-year-old has been silently going about his job, keeping his team into the game until the final whistle. It is only time that Kerala Blasters strikers begin to find the back of the nets. The defence has been doing its job.
Central defensive midfielder: Anirudh Thapa (Chennaiyin FC)
One of the brightest prospects of Indian football, Thapa continues to give us moments and reasons to believe in him and his remarkable abilities. With his club heading towards a 1-1 draw against NorthEast United FC, Thapa turned up with a wonderful goal. The captain made a run from deep into the midfield, took the ball in his own stride with an impressive first touch and cushioned it in the back of the nets against Subhashish Roy Chowdhury.
Central midfielder: Javi Hernandez (Odisha FC)
Joining Hector Rodas on his flight mode is his teammate Javi Hernandez, arguably the player of the season so far. Hernandez has been given the freedom he needs by coach Kiko Ramirez. The move hasn’t just helped to get the best out of the Spaniard, but also the team. From his free-kick against Gurpreet Singh Sandhu to his mammoth contributions in the 6-4 victory against SC East Bengal, Odisha FC would wrap him in cotton wool!
Right winger: Lallianzuala Chhangte (Chennaiyin FC)
If you haven’t seen Chhangte’s wonderful strike against NorthEast United, you should. It had a hint of anticipation and tons of technique and swivel in it. Against the Highlanders, the 24-year-old turned on the show, creating several chances on his own. Safe to say, he was the Marina Machans’ best player on the pitch – a stat that will make head coach Bozidar Bandovic very happy.
ISL 2021-22 Team of Gameweek 3
Left winger: Bipin Singh (Mumbai City FC)
For several experts, Vikram Pratap Singh might have got the brace against ATK Mohun Bagan, but it was Bipin who created the real havoc. Electric and untamable down the left wing, his low crosses were mouth-watering for any attacking player in the world. Rounding off the Mariners’ defence on several occasions, he got himself on the scoresheet as well with the final goal for his team. The flashes of last season are back, and Mumbai City would benefit if he continues in the same vein.
Second Striker: Vikram Pratap Singh (Mumbai City FC)
Waiting on the fringes can be tiring for some, and could fire up others. For Vikram Pratap Singh, it has certainly been the latter. Coming into the side, Vikram had to make his mark. His work ethic is known to everyone and that helped him in chasing lost causes. His understanding with Bipin Singh saw him score two goals and he’ll be hungry for more.
Striker: Greg Stewart (Jamshedpur FC)
That was a fine example set by Greg Stewart in terms of leading the line. Against Hyderabad FC, Stewart deserved his second goal as well. For some fans, he was even in for a hat-trick. He hit the post in the 20th minute with a rasping drive after a run from just near the half-line. For the goal, he wriggled past four players and disturbed the net with a precise strike. Nerijus Valskis has a partner and he’s as threatening as the Lithuanian!