Narayan Das seems to have picked up form and gave another stellar performance against FC Goa.
The battle for playoffs qualification heated up in the Indian Super League (ISL), last week, with some interesting results blowing the top half wide open. Bengaluru FC missed the opportunity to become the first team to qualify for the last four, while FC Goa picked up ground over the top two. Some domestic talents kept on impressing for their sides, playing crucial roles in their teams’ success with inspirational performances. So, here’s our ISL Team of the Week for Gameweek 14:
Sunil Chhetri will lead the line with Udanta Singh on the right flank
Goalkeeper: Mohammad Nawaz (FC Goa)
The young goalkeeper proved his mettle at the Mumbai Football Arena, putting up a commendable performance against The Islanders. Nawaz looked agile throughout the match and made sure to keep FC Goa in the game with his assured hands.
He made three crucial saves in the match, along with four clearances and two punches to prove how he’s maturing as a keeper. Nawaz won the “Emerging Player of the Match” award for his heroics and earned a well-deserved clean-sheet against a dangerous Mumbai City side.
Right-Back: Sarthak Golui (FC Pune City)
Sarthak has continued his good form under new manager Phil Brown and gave another impressive account of himself against defending champions Chennaiyin FC. Golui did well to keep Halicharan Narzary contained and helped to nullify Chennaiyin’s attack once again.
He made seven clearances, along with five blocks and a couple of important interceptions to keep things tidy. The full-back produced another hard-working act and proved how much a versatile defender he is with a solid performance.
Center-Back: Arnab Mondal (ATK)
Mondal put in a good display in his first start of the season
Being handed his first start of the season, the experienced defender seemed up for it and did a commendable job at the heart of their defence. Mondal was almost everywhere all the time to thwart off danger for Steve Coppell’s side, making an exceptional 12 clearances throughout the game.
Mondal kept Sumeett Passi and Co. quiet throughout the game and inherited the praise of his manager after the game, indicating that he’ll be rewarded for his performance with more starts.
Center-Back: Narayan Das (Delhi Dynamos)
Following the international break, Das seems to have picked up form and gave another impressive performance against FC Goa. He helped to keep The Gaurs’ threatening attack at bay throughout the game, showing solid positional sense and calmness when defending.
Narayan made seven clearances in the game, along with three tackles and two blocks to frustrate the fast-paced attack of Goa and earn a precious clean-sheet for Josep Gombau’s men.
Left-Back: Sahil Panwar (FC Pune City)
The youngster was on song against the Marina Machans, providing a glaring performance on the left-hand side. Panwar’s positional sense was brilliant, as he kept the hosts from getting behind him or stitching attacks through his wings and was impressive going forward as well.
The left-back made nine clearances, along with a couple of crucial interceptions, tackles and blocks as well. He recorded an 85% passing accuracy and was a calm figure at the back for the Stallions, helping them seal the deal in the end.
Central Midfield: Lenny Rodrigues (FC Goa)
One of the more consistent players under Sergio Lobera, Lenny continued his admirable work as the midfield general for Goa in the last week. He played a vital part in their win against Mumbai, dominating possession with an 82% passing accuracy and being an industrial figure in midfield, having made seven tackles and two interceptions.
He continued his good work against Delhi, controlling proceedings with an 85% passing accuracy and five interceptions.
Central idfield: Sahal Abdul Samad (Kerala Blasters)
Sahal continues to make strides in the ISL and his inspired display against Bengaluru dazzled the fans at the Sree Kanteerava Stadium. Abdul Samad was proficient in helping his defence thwart Bengaluru’s attacks, making three crucial tackles and clearances.
He also delved into his creative side constantly, being the chief architect for Kerala’s second goal, when he sweetly sent Seminlen Doungel through. Almost bagged an assist when his second half layoff for Slavisa Stojanovic’s shot struck the bar, which could’ve rounded off a perfect performance from the youngster.
Right-Wing: Udanta Singh (Bengaluru FC)
Udanta was his usual pacy self for Bengaluru
Udanta’s prolific run against Kerala Blasters continued on Wednesday, when “The Flash” sparked a sensational comeback from The Blues in the second half. Udanta got the better of Mohamed Rakip multiple times and pulled one back for his team with a clever finish from Sunil Chhetri’s cut-back.
He later completed the comeback, when his beautiful cross allowed his captain to get things level on the night. Earned his “Hero of the Match” award for another solid performance in which his irresistible chemistry with Chhetri doomed the Blasters.
Attacking Midfielder: Brandon Fernandes (FC Goa)
The Goa attacking midfielder gave some more promising performances last week, helping his team steal the show against Mumbai City. Brandon terrorized The Islanders’ defenders with his movement and creativity, while also taking quite a few swipes at goal, once even forcing a save from Amrinder Singh.
Fernandes continued his good work against Delhi, starring the show in what was otherwise a frail encounter. Brandon looked ever-diligent in trying to create chances for The Gaurs and even forced a good save from Delhi custodian Francisco Dorronsoro. Won the “Hero of the Match” award, topping off his gameweek perfectly.
Left-Wing: Lallianzuala Chhangte (Delhi Dynamos)
Lallianzuala Chhangte was as menacing as ever against FC Goa, with his impressive movement and pace causing quite a bit of trouble for The Gaurs. Chhangte got the better of Seriton Fernandes on multiple occasions and was a bright figure in the Dynamos’ attack.
He showed impressive urgency to get the lead, providing four crosses and always looking to create goalscoring opportunities for The Lions. Chhangte won the “Emerging Player of the Match” for another impressive performance and proved himself ready for his trials in Norway.
Striker: Sunil Chhetri (Bengaluru FC)
The Bengaluru captain got back to his goalscoring ways against Kerala Blasters and after watching his side go down 2-0 in the first half, decided to inspire them to mount a difficult comeback. Chhetri terrorized the Kerala defence throughout the second period, getting the better of Rakip on multiple occasions and forcing a few solid saves from Dheeraj Singh Moirangthem as well.
However, his persistence paid off in the 69th minute, when he assisted Udanta’s goal with a smart header. Chhetri completed the comeback when he struck another powerful header to get a well-deserved goal for himself and saved Bengaluru from defeat.