ISL Indian TOTW 15: Robin Singh, Jeje Lalpekhlua back amongst the goals
Written by: Uttiyo Sarkar
The previous gameweek saw many of the teams trying to chase the playoffs spots fall behind in the race.
As the Indian Super League (ISL) moves into the business end of the season, the performance levels of certain players are also rising to peak levels. With a lot of drama taking place in the league in the last week, certain domestic players shone through with strong displays and helped improve their stature. So, here is our ISL Team of the Week for Gameweek 15.
Goalkeeper: Pawan Kumar (NorthEast United)
Going into a crunch away match against Mumbai City, Pawan Kumar was under pressure to keep The Islanders contained and give his side a chance to win the game. He did just that, being a reliable figure between the posts and fulfilling his duties well.
While he was lucky to face a relatively off-form Mumbai, Kumar was tested multiple times by their attackers and made some fine saves to keep his team in the match. He was also confident in handling crosses and earned another clean-sheet for himself.
Right-Back: Laldinliana Renthlei (Chennaiyin FC)
The young right-back rose up on the biggest occasion, causing Nishu Kumar and Bengaluru a lot of trouble on his flank and showing impressive overall ability. Laldinliana Renthlei was a menace going forward and floated in the perfect assist for Gregory Nelson’s goal, before helping his side maintain the lead.
Renthlei also dealt with Sunil Chhetri’s threat quite well, making six clearances as well as three interceptions. He worked hard to seal the victory and won the Emerging Player of the Match award for his heroics.
ISL Team of the Week 15
Center-Back: Pratik Choudhary (Jamshedpur FC)
Pratik Choudhary had to face the intimidating Modou Sougou and produced a tough-tackling performance, in which he showcased quite a bit of aggression. Choudhary stuck close to the Mumbai City attackers and ended up making four fouls, one of which saw him booked.
Regardless of the drawback, his approach worked well, as it kept The Islanders quiet and allowed his side to stay alive in the game. He made four clearances in a hard-working effort and despite being substituted 11 minutes from the end, Choudhary helped the Men of Steel earn their clean-sheet.
Center-Back: Rana Gharami (Delhi Dynamos)
Rana Gharami has been a reliable figure at the back for Delhi Dynamos this season and produced another good performance in Guwahati last week. The former Mohun Bagan man was a solid figure at the back, helping his fellow defenders contain NorthEast United’s attacking threat.
Gharami made three tackles and three crucial blocks and looked sharp by keeping things tidy at the back. In the end, he helped Delhi weather the storm andemerge with a well-earned point.
Left-Back: Keegan Perreira (NorthEast United)
Keegan broke into the NorthEast United team after a long layoff and produced a brilliant performance for The Highlanders. Not only was he solid defensively, but he was also menacing going forward and assisted Rowlin Borges' opener with a clever pass.
The left-back did splendid work in keeping Arnold Issoko at bay, making eight clearances, five tackles and five interceptions in a solid defensive showing. He helped his team cruise to victory, while also keeping a clean-sheet and boosting his chances at becoming a regular for Eelco Schattorie’s men.
Right-Wing: Farukh Choudhary (Jamshedpur FC)
Farukh Choudhary continued his good work for the Men of Steel, being a troubling figure in their attack and causing Mumbai City a lot of problems with his movement and attacking zeal. He moved around all over the final third, making it difficult to mark him and used his pace well.
Choudhary was always looking to create chances for his side, making seven crosses in the game. He also didn’t shy away whenever he had a sight of goal, attempting five shots and having one dangerous one saved.
Central Midfield: Anirudh Thapa (Chennaiyin FC)
While he started the game from the bench, Anirudh Thapa came on after only the 15th minute to replace the injured Zohminliana Ralte and slotted in perfectly with the team. The youngster produced an effective performance, recording a 79% passing accuracy and helping the Marina Machans assert dominance in the game.
Thapa also fulfilled his defensive duties valiantly, making three tackles and two interceptions. The young midfielder showed impressive energy in the middle and helped his side record a much-needed victory.
Central Midfield: Rowllin Borges (NorthEast United FC)
Rowllin Borges continued his commendable work as NorthEast United’s midfield general and gave a string of solid performances to help The Highlanders take a step closer into guaranteeing their first-ever playoffs qualification. The midfielder was pretty good against Delhi, recording an 84% passing accuracy before stealing the show against Mumbai City.
Borges popped up in the box and scored minutes into the game and looked threatening throughout. He also recorded an 83% passing accuracy against Mumbai, while completing his defensive requirements. Borges was deservedly named Hero of the Match.
Left-Wing: Jayesh Rane (ATK)
Jayesh Rane continued his decent run away from home and looked much more threatening after being given more freedom to move forward. The ATK forward scored a beautiful goal when he curled in a beautiful shot from just inside the penalty area.
Rane troubled the FC Pune City defenders with his trickery and floated in nice crosses every now and then, adding a cutting edge to Steve Coppell’s side.
Striker: Robin Singh (FC Pune City)
The experienced striker has found inspired from in Phil Brown’s attacking system and was on song against former side ATK. Robin might not be the quickest, but used his physical prowess to trouble his opponents.
He attempted five crosses in the game, always looking to find Iain Hume or Marcelinho in the final third. He came alive in the second half and scored the equalizer for FC Pune City, a powerful header from a corner to scavenge a point.
Striker: Jeje Lalpekhlua (Chennaiyin FC)
Jeje Lalpekhlua finally broke his goalscoring duck in the ISL, netting his first goal of the season. The "Mizo Sniper" seemed hungry for a goal right from the getgo, wandering into promising positions and acting like a real menace for the Bengaluru FC defenders.
He took advantage of Nishu Kumar’s defensive error by hitting a sweet strike, which even Gurpreet Singh Sandhu couldn’t stop. Jeje kept on prizing ahead for more goals and linked up well with his teammates, recording a 71% passing accuracy and helping the Marina Machans entertain their fans with a strong performance.
Published: Sun Feb 17, 2019 04:37 PM IST