Amongst the other high-performing Indian players, Chennaiyin’s Jeje Lalpekhlua has also improved late with much better showings.
There were some relatively underwhelming games in the Indian Super League (ISL), this past week, with many teams cancelling each other out. However, there were some impressive performances from the top sides and the domestic players really shone through in a relatively quiet week.
Some terrific performances from the top Indian stars enabled these ISL sides to get important points. These players turned up the heat with their impressive outings, as we look at our ISL Team for game-week 9:
Reagan Singh has been fantastic for NEUFC this season
Goalkeeper: Dheeraj Singh Moirangthem (Kerala Blasters)
Dheeraj made quite the impression in his first Southern Derby for Kerala Blasters and showed a “You Shall Not Pass” attitude towards Chennaiyin FC. He thwarted their attacks with ease and gave a bright showing.
Dheeraj made a few terrific saves, diving strongly to frustrate Chennaiyin’s players. He also made six clearances and was strong in the air, making a few punches and catches to neutralize their aerial threat. After the game, he won the Hero of the Match for his excellent performance.
Right-Back: Reagan Singh (NorthEast United FC)
The right-back made an impressive six tackles against Pune City
Reagan had a tough challenge to contain the in-form Ashique Kuruniyan and after a slow start, he did so pretty well. He tracked Ashique’s movement well, to keep him at bay and put in a strong defensive showing.
The right-back made an impressive six tackles to keep Pune City’s left-wing neutralized, while also making four clearances and a few blocks. Reagan was subbed late on due to a niggle but did superbly to earn a precious clean-sheet.
Center-Back: Rahul Bheke (Bengaluru FC)
Bheke had a crazy game against FC Pune City, starting disastrously when he scored an unfortunate own-goal. However, he recovered amazingly to turn things around.
The former East Bengal man made three tackles, five clearances and two blocks to contain the Stallions threat. He had a terrific 96% passing accuracy and scored a superb winner late in the game. Bheke’s impressive performance got #BhekeForIndia trending and seeing how he’s improving, that may soon be a reality.
Center-Back: Chinglensana Singh (FC Goa)
Coming on for the suspended Mohammed Ali, Chinglensana produced a commendable display at the Salt Lake stadium. The strong defender kept Everton Santos’ threat neutralized in the middle, making a few crucial challenges to avert disaster for the Gaurs.
Singh made a few important tackles and interceptions, whilst also making four clearances to help the Gaurs to a rare clean sheet. He also had a 95% passing accuracy from 70+ passes, proving how reliable a defender he is.
Left-Back: Ricky Lallawmawma (ATK)
Ricky has made the left-back position his own at ATK and has been contributing handsomely towards their impressive defensive performances in recent games. The former Mohun Bagan man had another great game against ATK, keeping the dangerous Jackichand Singh and Seriton Fernandes duo quiet.
He put in a disciplined performance, making two tackles, three interceptions, blocks and six clearances to help ATK become the first side to earn a clean-sheet over the Gaurs this season.
Right Center-Midfield: Harmanjot Singh Khabra (Bengaluru FC)
Khabra proved to be Bengaluru’s work-horse once again with a sublime performance, doing almost everything in dominating midfield and creating chances. He had a great passing accuracy of 85% and made a few important clearances and blocks.
However, it was his creativity which helped Bengaluru bag three points. Khabra showed a resurgence in recovering the ball and quickly playing it for Udanta’s goal, before sending a superb cross for Bheke’s winner to earn two assists for himself.
Center-Midfield: Rowllin Borges(NorthEast United FC)
Rowllin Borges had another prolific week for the Highlanders, dominating their midfield and putting on commanding performances for his side. Borges was NorthEast’s midfield general against FC Pune City, distributing the play brilliantly and retaining the ball with his energetic demeanour.
He continued his fine form against the dangerous midfield of Jamshedpur FC, controlling possession and neutralizing their threat through the middle. Borges gave great showings in both games and helped make a successful week for the Highlanders.
Left Center-Midfield: Lenny Rodrigues (FC Goa)
Many times in this season, Lenny has saved Goa from the brink of humiliation with his interceptions
The resurgent midfielder was once again an energetic figure in FC Goa’s midfield and helped dominate proceedings against ATK. Lenny was all over the pitch against ATK, seeking out ATK’s attack and stopping them pretty well. He distributed play with ease, having a 93% passing accuracy form 80+ passes on the night.
Lenny also saved Goa from humiliation multiple times with his clutch interceptions stopping ATK from going through on goal and punishing them.
Right-Wing: Udanta Singh (Bengaluru FC)
The “Flash” of Indian Football seemed dangerous as ever on the right, causing the Stallions problems with his speed. In the 11th minute, he took the ball from Khabra, before whirling into the box and striking a sensational left-foot effort into the top corner. Singh’s peach of a goal got things rolling for Bengaluru FC and increased his confidence even more.
Left-Wing: Michael Soosairaj(Jamshedpur FC)
Soosairaj could very be a mainstay in the national team setup for years to come
Soosairaj gave another thunderous performance at his home ground, causing all sorts of problems on that left flank. He really made Provat Lakra work hard on the right, with his electric pace and dribbling ability helping create some majestic moments for the fans.
Despite his heroics, Soosairaj couldn’t get a goal or an assist but his promising showing against the Highlanders proved just how dangerous he is in the flanks.
Striker: Jeje Lalpekhlua (Chennaiyin FC)
Jeje Lalpekhlua might still be looking for his first goal of the season, but showed encouraging signs with a much-improved showing in the Southern Derby. Jeje showed clever movement in the final third and created a glorious chance for Thoi Singh to hit wide.
He opened up Kerala’s defense on multiple occasions and almost scored had not Dheeraj saved his attempt brilliantly. Jeje’s confidence is slowly regaining, and he was unlucky not to get anything in the Derby.