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ISL 2023-24, Matchweek 3: The Indian Super League (ISL) witnessed a thrilling week of football as all 12 teams were in action. From exciting matches in Mumbai to dramatic encounters at the Fatorda and dominant performances by the Mariners at the Marina Arena, there was plenty of action to keep fans on the edge of their seats.
ISL: A LOOK AT THE RESULTS FROM MATCHWEEK 3
Bengaluru FC vs East Bengal: Bicycle Thief
Sunil Chhetri made a significant impact by scoring in just over 20 minutes for Bengaluru FC. It’s always exciting to see a player returning to club and making an immediate impact. Mahesh Singh had bypassed two defenders to score the opener for the East Bengal barely minutes ago. In the second half, Javi Hernandez’s acrobatic bicycle kick in the 72nd minute secured a victory for Simon Grayson’s team, giving them their first win of this season of ISL.
Even though EBFC got many chances, East Bengal boss Carles Cuadrat did not want to put pressure on his players. He said in the post-match press conference.
“I don’t want to stress my players. They know, and we have been working on that in the training (sessions). So, it’s not about putting pressure on them. It’s just all of us be it the club or the supporters; all of us have to understand that football is like this. Quality in the boxes makes the difference,”
Jamshedpur FC vs Hyderabad FC: Welcome to the Furnace
The “Men of Steel” were enthralled by the massive home support at the ‘Furnace’ as Jamshedpur FC got a closely contested win over Hyderabad FC. In a crucial decision, Scott Cooper made a switch in his striker, ultimately leading to Rei Tachikawa’s outstanding free-kick that secured the victory. Throughout most of the game, the 25-year-old had a rather uneventful performance. However, in the final 20 minutes, he showcased his exceptional skills. In the 76th minute, Tachikawa demonstrated superb technique by placing the ball perfectly into the top left corner, ultimately securing the win for his team.
After the match, Hyderabad FC head coach Thangboi Singto accepted that
“playing Jamshedpur FC in Jamshedpur would always be tough. But until the third quarter of the game, I think we were still on.”
Punjab FC vs NorthEast United: Home Away from Home
Despite playing at home, Punjab FC experienced a strange sense of unfamiliarity as if they were playing in an away game in New Delhi. The visiting team, NorthEast United, was actually playing in the capital. Parthib Gogoi, once again, showcased his remarkable skills by scoring an incredible goal. However, the match ultimately ended in a 1-1 draw as Melroy Assisi seized an opportunity created by a momentary miscommunication.
The head coach of Punjab FC, Staikos Vergetis, made a decision to switch goalkeepers, replacing Nepali Kiran Kumar Limbu with Indian goalkeeper Ravi Kumar. Vergetis expressed his dissatisfaction with his team’s overall performance.
“We have to analyze the game. As I said before, we have to identify the reasons why the team didn’t perform well. We cannot ignore the fact that the opponent team missed a penalty and hit the post before scoring their goal,” he said.
Despite the impressive performances of Parthib, NorthEast United FC head coach Juan Pedro Benali remains cautious about hailing the young star at this point in time.
“Don’t put him so high because when he falls down, it’s difficult to put him up again,” he said at the post-match press conference.
FC Goa vs Odisha FC: Yay! Jay
Jay Gupta is gaining popularity among many people. His pace, stability, and calmness are impressive qualities. It’s also commendable that he made a decisive impact in the game against Odisha FC, especially with his individual brilliance in stoppage time. FC Goa defeated Odisha FC 3-2 with Mourtada Fall and Noah Sadaoui bagging a goal each for the Juggeranuts and Gaurs.
Lobera was not a happy man after conceding again in the closing minutes.
“We are disappointed. Again, we are losing points in the last minutes like against Mumbai City FC (where) in the remaining two minutes we lost two points. Today, we lost three points.”
Chennaiyin FC vs Mohun Bagan Super Giant: Star Sahal
Mohun Bagan Super Giant had a fantastic performance against Chennaiyin FC, securing a 3-1 win and making it three wins in a row in ISL 2023-24. Sahal Abdul Samad seems to have played a vital role in all of Mohun Bagan’s goals, with his passes consistently finding his teammates. Dimitri Petratos and Jason Cummings scored in the first half, and although Rafael Crivellaro converted a free-kick for Chennaiyin FC in the second half, Manvir Singh restored Mohun Bagan’s two-goal lead. Overall, it was a dominant and well-managed victory for Mohun Bagan Super Giant.
Chennaiyin FC’s head coach Owen Coyle expressed disappointment with the team’s performance, as they have not been able to secure any points in the first three games of this ISL. Coyle said in the post-match press conference.
“We had two best chances at 0-0 to get in front and we didn’t take them. And that’s probably been the story of our three games. We had wonderful chances at Odisha and NorthEast to get in front, so we need to be clinical in front of goal,”
Mumbai City FC vs Kerala Blasters: Cut Throat Madness
Mumbai City FC emerged victorious despite the game being marred by violence towards the end. The opening goal was scored by Jorge Diaz, who took advantage of a goalkeeping error to tap the ball into the net. However, Kerala Blasters fought back and managed to equalize in the second half through a header from Danish Farooq. Eventually, Mumbai City FC secured the win with Apuia’s well-placed shot, which came as a result of a miscued clearance.
There was quite a heated confrontation during the match. Things escalated to a brawl and resulted in red cards for Milos Drincic and Yoell van Nieff. It’s important to remember that fair play and respectful behavior are crucial in sports. Let’s hope that all the players involved can reflect on this incident and aim for a more positive and sportsmanlike approach in future games. In the closing seconds, Rostyn Griffiths hugged Praibr around the neck, with the latter ending the night in tears.
“We need to find different ways to win. And that fight, that aggression and determination especially on the back of what has been a long and tiring two-and-a-half weeks, was very good to see,” Des Buckingham said after the match.