I-League Media & ISL Media
Indian TOTW 15: Slew of first-timers call dibs in Team of the Week
Written by: Debajit Sarma
This week's lineup sees as many as seven new players making their debuts in the season's lineup.
The Indian domestic football season is drawing to a close and with the games bearing greater meaning at this point in time, it was inevitably an action-packed week of football. In the I-League Gokulam Kerala continued their giant-killing act and got the better of title favourites Minerva Punjab FC. Giants East Bengal kept themselves in the hunt for the title with a 7-1 hammering of Chennai City FC. On the other hand in the ISL, with the competition entering into the final week both Chennaiyin and Kerala Blasters lost some ground in their chase for a playoff spot with a 0-0 stalemate. FC Goa kept up the pressure with a 0-4 rout of FC Pune City and Jamshedpur FC would themselves be feeling some of the heat from the chasing pack after losing 0-2 to table toppers Bengaluru FC.
So let’s see who made into our Indian players' team of the week
Goalkeeper: Karanjit Singh ( Chennaiyin FC )
The Marina Machans would be thankful to their goalie for rescuing a point in their 0-0 draw against their southern rivals Kerala Blasters. Karanjit was immense in between the sticks for Chennaiyin as he made six superb stops including one from the penalty spot in the second half.
Indian Team of the Week 15
Right Back: Seriton Fernandes (FC Goa)
The right-back stuck to his job well and was defensively solid as the Gaurs dominated both the games they played last week. The local lad kept things tight at the flank and moved the ball around well registering 81% and 82% pass completion rate against Delhi and Pune respectively
Centre Back: Sandesh Jhingan (Kerala Blasters)
The only player to retain his place from last week’s TOTW. The Blasters captain was at it again playing an important role in helping his team keep a second consecutive clean sheet. The centre-back was his assured self and made eight clearances including a goal-saving effort in the dying embers of the match
Centre Back: Gurwinder Singh (East Bengal)
Although the show was dominated by the Red and Golds’ forwards, Gurwinder was flamboyant in defence partnering Eduardo.and the duo were in sync throughout the game. The Punjab born defender didn’t put a foot wrong and looked high on confidence. Although Chennai did not attack in the box a lot but they threw in a number of shots on goal which were well blocked by the burly defender.
Left Back: Provat Lakra (Gokulam Kerala FC) This versatile defender has been playing a pivotal part for the Southerners. His presence at the back, alongside Daniel Addo, and Chigozie has helped Bino George's side keep secure the defence against Minerva, and Churchill. He has also instilled much-needed menace into the flanks, aiding the midfielders to dominate the game. Against Minerva, and Churchill, he looked unassailable, and had time to make some crunching tackles, and a few good interceptions.
Central Defensive Mid: Pronay Halder (FC Goa)
The Birthday boy put up an immaculate performance as his team romped to a 4-0 win over Pune. Pronay was the rock in midfield which allowed the Gaurs forwards to run riot, winning the ball back from the opposition playmakers and quickly passing the ball forwards. His partnership with Jahouh in midfield made it very difficult for the likes of Marcelinho and Diego Carlos to have an impact on the game.
Right Midfield: Gabriel Fernandes (East Bengal)
The Goa-born winger couldn’t have asked for a better debut in the hallowed Red and Gold colours. Coming on as a substitute in the 80th minute, Gabriel only took four minutes to latch on a pass from Kromah and fire home a screamer from outside the box scoring the final goal in his team’s 7-1 thumping of Chennai City FC
Central Attacking Midfield: Cajetan Fernandes (Sporting Clube De Goa)
The midfielder played an important role in the Flaming Orange's victory over Calangute Association in Goa Professional League. The 29-year-old scored a spectacular goal from a 25-yard free-kick to take his side into the lead within first 10 minutes, while he was also involved in the other two goals to helped his side to secure a convincing 3-1 win, which helped his side to register their straight eighth win of the league.
Central Midfield - Kivi Zhimomi (Gokulam Kerala FC)
Orchestrating the play for Gokulam Kerala from the middle-of-the park, Kivi Zhimomi has bestowed flair, and pace to the midfield. He linked brilliantly with their overseas recruitment, Henry Kisekka and duo's unfurling attack put the Minerva and Churchill defence at unease
He's had a role of a lynchpin for Gokulam Kerala, acting as the link between the midfield, and the attack, which in turn helped them outclass Minerva's and Churchill's midfielders. He's adept at dispossessing the opponents, and converting those to counter-attacks, his marvellous performance against Minerva, and Churchill are a testament to that.
Left Midfield: Mapuia (Aizawl FC)
The 20-year old had a huge role in ending his team’s long-running eight-game winless run scoring a brace in the 3-0 win over Indian Arrows. He was a continuous menace to the Arrows backline with his pace and movement. He was also heavily involved in the other goal when his low cross was spilt into the path of Ionescu after a jinking run into the box.
Striker: Sunil Chhetri (Bengaluru FC)
The Bengaluru FC skipper was instrumental in the Blues' win over Jamshedpur FC on Sunday. The highest scoring Indian in the Indian Super League (ISL) this season, Chhetri scored the second for the Karnataka based side and also helped to create chances throughout the game, being a constant threat to the Men of Steel's defence.
Published: Tue Feb 27, 2018 01:21 PM IST