ISL TOTW 7: Lenny Rodrigues, Brandon Fernandes among the best in the league
Written by: Uttiyo Sarkar
The week saw exceptional performances by several domestic players.
It was a relatively short week for the Indian Super League (ISL) which stopped play for a day because of Diwali before things got rolling once again. There were some emphatic results, with FC Goa continuing their romp towards the top. ATK also attained important points to regain some momentum and despite losing, Delhi Dynamos and FC Pune City had some impressive individual showings. The domestic players made a stark impression after the festival of lights and definitely lit up the league.
Let's take a look at our ISL Team of the Week:
Amrinder came up with a special performance to become the first goalkeeper to attain a clean-sheet against NorthEast United this season. Singh was excellent in goal, looking alert as ever in thwarting the Highlanders' shots. He made four excellent saves to deny the attack of NorthEast and helped the Islanders pick up another crucial win on the road.
Right-Back: Souvik Chakrabarti (Mumbai City)
Souvik had to be on his toes to contain NorthEast’s attack and remained solid throughout the game. The right-back gave a compelling showing at the back during which he contained Juan Mascia really well. He made eight clearances, three tackles as well as a couple of crucial interceptions and blocks to frustrate the opposition.
ISL Team of the Week 7
Center-Back: Gurtej Singh (FC Pune City)
Despite not being able to pick up the win, FC Pune City pulled off a solid defensive act thanks to their rock-like captain Gurtej. The center-back looked reassuring at the back, where he completely neutralized Balwant’s threat. He was in the right positions on multiple occasions to avert danger and made eight clearances throughout the game, along with a few crucial tackles and interceptions. Unlucky to be on the losing side.
Center-Back: Joyner Lourenco (Mumbai City)
Ever since coming in as Davinder Singh’s replacement at Mumbai City, Joyner Lourenco has taken to the club like fish to water. He was excellent once again against NorthEast, where he earned a clean-sheet for his side. Lourenco was a lively figure in defence, making five clearances and three tackles and did a good job in partnering Lucian Goian.
Left-Back: Ricky Lallawmawma (ATK)
ATK finally picked up a clean-sheet when they downed Pune City and Ricky Lallawmawma gave a stellar showing, keeping things tidy on his side. The former Mohun Bagan left-back often roamed forward with purpose, yet it was his strong defensive showing which shone through. He made three tackles and two clearances, with his clever positioning and awareness allowing him to thwart Pune’s attacks.
Central Midfield: Bikramjit Singh (Delhi Dynamos)
Bikramjit Singh helped Delhi Dynamos take the fight to FC Goa and looked a really lively figure in their midfield. He stunned the hosts by scoring the opener when he took an ambitious swipe at goal and his beautiful long-ranger went past Nawas. He continued to impress, having a 73% passing accuracy and maintaining stellar distribution to make things difficult for Goa.
Lenny is proving to be FC Goa’s midfield general this season and continued his shining work in midfield last week. He gave a promising showing against the Dynamos but was especially excellent against Kerala Blasters. Rodrigues had a 90% passing accuracy against the Blasters and remained an industrious workhorse in their midfield, making five tackles and four clearances to dominate proceedings for the Gaurs.
Right-Wing: Jayesh Rane (ATK)
The super-sub for ATK against Pune City, Rane gave a fantastic showing in the minutes he got to play. The former Aizawl man looked dangerous on the right wing and made a dazzling run in the final third soon after coming on. He lofted a delightful ball into the box which got flicked on by Gerson Vieira to score the winner for the Kolkata side.
Attacking Midfield: Brandon Fernandes (FC Goa)
Brandon had a week to remember for Goa, in which he put in some special performances and even scored his first ISL goal. He impressed as a substitute against Delhi, scoring that crucial goal to level things up. Brandon continued his good run against Kerala Blasters, whom he threatened with his set-pieces and work in the final third.
Left-Wing: Lallianzuala Chhangte (Delhi Dynamos)
The young winger has been on some run for the Dynamos recently and continued his good form away to Goa. Chhangte caused all sorts of problems for the hosts with his movement and clever work, which enabled him to take a few swipes at goal. He had a few shots saved by Nawas, but scored after being beautifully teed up by Nandakumar Sekar to give Delhi a short-lived lead.
Striker: Manvir Singh (FC Goa)
While Manvir Singh is often overshadowed by the brilliance of Ferran Corominas, he made his mark against the Blasters at the weekend. Singh came up with a solid performance after being subbed on against Kerala. He received Hugo Boumous’ cross superbly to score an emphatic header, which solidified a certain win for the Gaurs and reaffirmed his potential as a budding goalscorer.