The week started with Chennaiyin FC firing four past the best defense in the League as Delhi Dynamos were ate the wrong end of a thumping. Then it was the Highlanders who kept their qualifying hopes intact as they earned a credible point away at Goa after an entertaining 1-1 draw.
Kerala Blasters added more misery to Mumbai City FC’s season as they netted a late equalizer in a 1-1 draw, a result which left both the teams on the brink of elimination, before FC Pune City’s campaign took another turn for the worst as an Iain Hume inspired Atletico de Kolkata handed them a 4-1 bashing at the Salt Lake Stadium.
Delhi Dynamos bounced back from their 4-0 reverse with a 2-1 win against NorthEast United in Guwahati thanks to a late Gustavo Dos Santos goal before the week concluded with FC Goa hammering ten man Kerala Blasters 5-1 in Kochi to send them packing and earning a semi-final berth for themselves.
The team of the week reflects the results as Chennaiyin FC have four players, followed by Atletico de Kolkata and FC Goa with three each. It wasn’t a great week for defenders and that sees the Team of the Week take shape in a 3-4-3 formation.
Amrinder Singh (Atletico de Kolkata)
The Atletico de Kolkata goalkeeper had a good game in goal for the champions against an FC Pune City side which didn’t test him a lot. He was alert when required, seen by when he parried an Adrian Mutu free-kick to safety.
However, there was little he could do for Mutu’s wonderful individual goal which went straight in. Singh continued his good form between the sticks and looked solid all evening. Amrinder has managed to marshall the Atletico defence very well and has led them to the joint-best defensive record in the league.
Bernard Mendy (Chennaiyin FC)
After coming under a lot of criticism for his performances this season, Bernard Mendy produced a stellar performance against Delhi Dynamos and was in command of his box against the likes of Robin Singh and Gadze.
The Chennaiyin FC skipper won almost all the aerial duels with the two powerful forwards, thus nullifying their threat.
Arnab Mondal (Atletico de Kolkata)
Mondal was a rock at the back for Atletico and dealt with the danger of Mutu and Tuncay Sanli very well. He took care of everything that was thrown at him and was good in the air while also making some crucial tackles to take the ball off the feet of Tuncay and Mutu.
Sandesh Jhingan (Kerala Blasters)
The Indian National Team centre-back had a mixed week in defence for Kerala Blasters. He was fantastic against Mumbai City FC in their 1-1 draw in Mumbai where he made some vital interventions to deny Sunil Chhetri go clear on goal.
He also made some important blocks to prevent Mumbai City FC from doubling their lead in the game. He was good against FC Goa too, until the Blasters were reduced to ten men, and was exposed too much later in that game.
Bruno Pelissari (Chennaiyin FC) – Left Wing
The Brazilian was a constant menace on the left side in their 4-0 win over Delhi Dynamos and managed to squeeze a shot past three defenders for his goal. He never allowed the Delhi Dynamos backline to rest and was relentless in attack, combining well with Jeje and Mendoza to keep the defence guessing.
Raphael Augusto (Chennaiyin FC) – Central Midfielder
Raphael Augusto was one of the best players of the week as he completely dominated the Delhi Dynamos midfield. He provided some excellent through balls and also broke up the Delhi attack on several occasions.
Most importantly, he kept the Dynamos’ most important player, Florent Malouda, quiet.
Leo Moura (FC Goa) – Central Midfield
A major contender for the Player of the Season, Leo Moura is a permanent member of the ISL Team of the Week. Once again, he was excellent in both the games FC Goa played and racked up three assists in two games.
His assist for Reinaldo’s goal against NorthEast United was one of the finest ones seen this season and showed his wide passing repertoire.
Mandar Rao Dessai (FC Goa) – Right Wing
The find of ISL season two once again impressed, this time in a wing-back role. He provided an assist and a goal in FC Goa’s win over Kerala Blasters and terrorized Deepak Mondal throughout the match.
He struggled at times defensively in this new role, but did enough for Zico to keep faith in him for the matches to come.
Jeje Lalpekhlua (Chennaiyin FC)
Jeje was Chennaiyin’s fox in the box against Delhi Dynamos and netted two crucial goals which helped his team decimate the Dynamos and massively aided their goal difference. He also assisted Chennaiyin’s opening goal and was a livewire in attack for the Chennai outfit, helping them get back in contention for a spot in the semi-finals.
Reinaldo (FC Goa)
It was a superb week for the Brazilian centre-forward as he scored four goals in the week. The first one was the most crucial as his goal earned Goa a point against NorthEast United. He was simply scintillating in Kochi and was involved in all the five goals, scoring three of them as FC Goa booked a semi-final place with a 5-1 win over the Kerala Blasters
Iain Hume (Atletico de Kolkata)
Hume put up an exhibition of finishing as he scored yet another hat-trick in Atletico de Kolkata’s 4-1 win over FC Pune City. The Canadian got his tally up to nine goals for the season, just one behind Stiven Mendoza in the race for the Golden Boot.
Hume’s goals helped Atletico de Kolkata book a semi-final berth and also helped push his team to the top of the standings.
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