ISL GW 16 TOTW: Pune City, Delhi Dynamos troica make headlines in the league
Written by: Uttiyo Sarkar
The recently concluded week saw the domestic players produce amazing performances to make the playoffs race more interesting.
The Indian Super League (ISL) is nearing the playoffs, with Bengaluru FC and FC Goa both having secured qualification in the recently concluded week. The Gaurs have struck peak form at the right moment, while those behind them are still surging to make a last-minute entry into the top four. The domestic players were mighty impressive in the last gameweek, with some producing brilliant performances to win their sides the respective matches. Here’s our ISL Team of the Week for Gameweek 16.
Goalkeeper: Naveen Kumar (FC Goa)
The Kerala Blasters loanee had a couple of great outings for the Gaurs, helping them retain their dominance against ATK and his parent club. Naveen was especially solid against the Kolkata side, making five saves and thwarting any shots thrown his way.
Kumar also maintained composure against a frail Kerala side, making a few important saves to keep things tidy. He picked up back-to-back clean-sheets for the Gaurs, boosting his chances of remaining a regular in the starting XI.
Right-Back: Seriton Fernandes (FC Goa)
Seriton continued his blooming form for Goa, giving another solid performance against ATK. The right-back showed admirable composure against the attacking threat of the Kolkata outfit, keeping Jayesh Rane’s threat neutralized.
Fernandes made three tackles and as many blocks, while also recording an 88% passing accuracy. He retained his good form against the Blasters, helping his side maintain complete domination and get back-to-back 3-0 wins.
Indian Super League Team of Week 16
Center-Back: Sandesh Jhingan (Kerala Blasters)
Sandesh Jhingan looked up for a fight in the Southern Derby against Chennaiyin FC, leading his side from the front and neutralizing his opponents' attacking threat. Not only did he keep compatriot Jeje Lalpekhlua quiet, but Jhingan’s impressive distribution also helped peg his side forward.
Apart from recording an 87% passing accuracy, he also did his defensive duties well, making six clearances, a couple of tackles and an interception as well. Despite having a game to forget against Goa, his work against Chennaiyin proved his qualities as a leader.
Center-Back: Sarthak Golui (FC Pune City)
Ever since being played in a more defensive role under Phil Brown, Sarthak Golui’s form’s picked up at FC Pune City. He looks much more comfortable defending deep rather than going forward and gave another commendable performance in their thrashing of Jamshedpur FC.
Golui did splendid work in keeping the dangerous Men of Steel quiet in their own backyard. By making 11 clearances, four tackles and a couple of crucial interceptions, Golui proved to be the Stallions' defensive rock and helped them record the win.
Left-Back: Narayan Das (Delhi Dynamos)
Narayan continued his bright form after the AFC Asian Cup and was a formidable figure on the left-flank, fulfilling his defensive and offensive duties admirably. He not only kept Udanta Singh at bay, whilst making seven clearances and two tackles, he also showed courage in roaming forward.
After playing a couple of inviting crosses, Das was finally rewarded when one of his passes allowed Daniel to pull one back, granting him an assist in a stellar performance.
Defensive Midfield: Adil Khan (FC Pune City)
The Stallions' midfielder produced a performance he made famous last season, holding the fort for them in midfield and putting in a workhorse-like performance. Adil was solid in dealing with Jamshedpur’s foreign midfielders, breaking up attacks and causing them trouble with his tenacity.
The defensive midfielder made three tackles, clearances and interceptions to help Brown's side go toe-to-toe with the Men of Steel and end up winning big.
Right-Wing: Jackichand Singh (FC Goa)
Jackichand was on absolute fire in Goa’s last couple of matches, lighting up the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium with his blistering pace. He stunned ATK with a goal in the first minute, after which he kept troubling them with his pace.
After the 3-0 win, Singh continued his terrific work against Kerala Blasters, tormenting Lalruatthara with his unpredictability. The winger got past the Kerala defence multiple times and was unlucky to strike the post.
Central Attacking Midfield: Sahal Abdul Samad(Kerala Blasters)
Sahal’s turning out to be Blasters' gem from this disappointing season and continued his great work against Chennaiyin. He decided to pull off something special in the Southern Derby, being a menace for the Marina Machans with his movement.
He didn't only retain an 83% passing accuracy, but Abdul Samad also ventured forward whenever possible and got his reward when a defensive mistake allowed him to score a powerful goal to seal the game. He won the Emerging Player of the Match award for his heroics and even against Goa, was the Blasters' best player.
Left-Wing: Nandhakumar Sekar (Delhi Dynamos)
Nandhakumar’s found a severe liking to playing at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium and entertained the fans with another energetic performance on the wings. He kept on troubling Bengaluru FC’s defenders with his movement and trickery, often going past his man to get space.
Nandha played in the powerful low cross which Gurpreet Singh Sandhu couldn’t handle and allowed Ulises Davila to score his first Dynamos goal. The winger also created a few opportunities through crosses and almost had a late goal, when he whizzed past many defenders but had his strong shot saved.
Striker: Robin Singh (FC Pune City)
The experienced striker’s come alive under Brown, having found back his lethal touch and ability to bully defenders in the final third. The powerful forward was on song against Jamshedpur FC, being encouraged to take swipes at goals and keeping defenders off his back.
Singh scored a brace to help the Stallions record a dominant victory. He showcased his clinical touch with two well-taken goals, winning the Hero of the Match award.
Striker: Daniel Lalhlimpuia (Delhi Dynamos)
The ultimate super-sub performance if there ever was one. Daniel was brought on in the second half and decided to prove why former side Bengaluru had done a wrong thing in letting him go. His movement in the final third was menacing, as he often went past his markers to create space.
He took his first goal with a strong finish, fooling Gurpreet with the pace of his shot. Daniel would get lucky with his second, as his unpredictable shot went through Gurpreet’s hands. He could’ve scored a hat-trick if not for a strong save from Sandhu, but had already done the damage and won the Hero of the Match award for his match-winning performance.
Published: Fri Feb 22, 2019 03:25 PM IST