Jerry Lalrinzuala and Sourav Das also make their debut in TOTW this season.

After a long-ensuing tussle, the debate is settled (at least for now), as Jamshedpur FC sit atop the Indian Super League for the first time in history. This ISL 2021-22 gameweek, the Men of Steel defeated fellow challengers Hyderabad FC 3-0 in a dominating display and also earned the bragging rights. Right on their toes are ATK Mohun Bagan, who beat Bengaluru FC and Chennaiyin FC in quick succession to climb to second.

With the group stages almost over, Jamshedpur seem to be cruising to lift the League Winners’ Shield, tied on points with ATKMB having played a match less and with a better goal-difference. At the bottom end, SC East Bengal and NorthEast United shared the spoils and look to end the same way. In this article, let’s take a look at Khel Now’s ISL 2021-22 Team of the Week for Gameweek 21.

Goalkeeper: Amrinder Singh (ATK Mohun Bagan)

Two games, two clean-sheets and several moments of unbridled brilliance – that would probably be the best words to define this ISL 2021-22 gameweek for Amrinder.

While he was commanding and made his presence felt against Bengaluru FC, he was in his element against Chennaiyin FC, making five saves, two of them from inside the box. To make matters better for his team, he had 16 accurate long balls to show over the two games.

Right-Back: Laldinliana Renthlei (Jamshedpur FC)

Laldinliana Renthlei
Laldinliana Renthlei has been in exceptional form this season (Courtesy: ISL Media)

The wings of Hyderabad FC have wreaked havoc time and again over the course of ISL 2021-22 and last season. But, earlier this week, they met a wall in Laldinliana.

The 23-year-old won every ground duel, stopping the combined threat of Aniket Jadhav and Akash Mishra with oomph and class. He also attempted to dribble twice, succeeding at both attempts.

Centre-Back: Peter Hartley (Jamshedpur FC)

If he hadn’t been registered as a defender and you saw the highlights of the Jamshedpur-Hyderabad FC game, you would think he’s a forward.

Three shots on target – one ruffling the back of the net – five clearances and one crucial intervention ensured that Hartley made our ISL 2021-22 Team of the Week. He would want to continue in the same vein and so would Owen Coyle.

Centre-Back: Sandesh Jhingan (ATK Mohun Bagan)

Sandesh Jhingan
Jhingan looks to be back at his best (Courtesy: ISL Media)

He might be in a soup off the pitch, but on it, Jhingan is making all the right moves. The Indian centre-back took some time to settle in after he returned from Croatia, but he looks to be getting into his stride.

He looked almost unbreakable against the Blues and the Marina Machans. Jhingan was particularly ruthless against his former club Bengaluru FC, winning every aerial duel. He also made eight clearances and blocked two attempts.  

Left-Back: Jerry Lalrinzuala (Chennaiyin FC)

There’s no denying that Jerry Lalrinzuala brims with talent and it all came to the fore against ATK Mohun Bagan. The left-back was in a different zone against the three-time ISL winners. The 23-year-old did not just thwart the in-form Liston Colaco’s attacking threat, but also contributed up ahead.

Jerry did not let anyone go past him for the entirety of the game. He also created a chance for his side and clocked 80% passing accuracy.

Central Midfielder: Pronay Halder (Jamshedpur FC)

Too inconsistent or too unlucky? Indian football fans, take your pick. Against Hyderabad FC, Halder was in no mood to mess around. He won his one-on-one battles against Joel Chianese on several occasions, making as many as four crucial interceptions.

His duel win percentage, too, ranked pretty high with a near-perfect mark. No Hyderabad FC player was able to dribble past him – no mean feat given the Nizams’ penchant on the ball.

ISL 2021-22 Team of the Week
ISL 2021-22 Team of the Week for Gameweek 21

Central Midfielder: Sourav Das (SC East Bengal)

With captain Mohammed Rafique in underwhelming form, the onus was on Sourav Das to control the midfield for SC East Bengal against the Highlanders and the 25-year-old did not disappoint.

He marshaled his defence well and circulated possession smartly to his attacking teammates. His two interceptions and tackles were crucial in keeping Khalid Jamil’s boys away from Shankar Roy’s goal.

Central Midfielder: Alex Lima (Jamshedpur FC)

For me, this was one of the performances of the season so far. Everything Alex touched on the pitch turned into gold. His link-up play on the day with Mobashir Rahman, Daniel Chima and Ritwik Das can be used as a tutorial.

Adding to his two assists, it was his corner that led to the first goal off Chinglesana Singh Konsham. Alex had a total of nine key passes in the game!

Right Winger: Sahal Abdul Samad (Kerala Blasters)

Sahal Abdul Samad
Sahal has scored five goals this season (Courtesy: ISL Media)

Sahal Abdul Samad has probably given the Indian Super League fans their ‘Brightest’ moment of the season. He wasn’t in the best of form against holders Mumbai City, but created a moment of magic in the 19th minute.

Sahal received the ball just inside the opposition half, danced past Brad Inman and Apuia, dropped a shoulder and calmly slotted the ball in the bottom right corner, having also wrong-footed Mohammad Nawaz.

Left Winger: Adrian Luna (Kerala Blasters)

What can we write about Luna that hasn’t already been written (and proved by him)? Against Mumbai City, the Uruguayan was on fire yet again, finding inch-perfect long balls with consummate ease.

Sahal’s goal came from a long ball that was played by Luna and he created two other chances. In the 81st minute, Luna found the side bar with a pinching free kick. His form will be crucial in the knockout stages for the Yellow Submarines.  

Striker: Alvaro Vazquez (Kerala Blasters)

Alvaro Vazquez
Vazquez scored a brace against Mumbai City (Courtesy: ISL Media)

I’ve never seen a better volley-striker in the Indian Super League than this Spaniard. Against Mumbai, Vazquez found the back of the net twice – one from the spot and another after a forgettable mistake from goalkeeper Nawaz.

He kept going for the kill and came close to scoring on two other occasions as well. It must be refreshing for the Manjappada to see a striker integrate so well with the rest of the team and it definitely bodes well for them in the future.

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