Tag Archives: Football ISL

Football ISL: Mohun Bagan outplay Bengaluru 2-0

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Fatorda Goa: Two goals in a space of seven minutes  enabled Mohun Bagan  outplay Bengaluru 2-0 in  the Hero Indian Super League,  the JL Nehru Stadium in Fatorda on Tuesday.

In a first for Bagan this season, two first-half goals signalled the downfall for a beleaguered Bengaluru  who were punished for their defensive mistakes, gifting two mouth-watering set pieces for the Kolkata side to convert with glee. Roy Krishna (37′ Pen.) beat Gurpreet  Sandhu from the spot before Marcelinho (44′) put the game to rest with a freekick of the highest order.

The Mariners stand second with 33 points from 16 games while Bengaluru  remains 6th with 19 points, 4 points adrift of the top-four chasing pack with one less game to play.

It was Bengaluru who looked more confident with the ball in the initial stages but Bagan got things under control. Bagan pressed aggressively, forcing Bengaluru  into mistakes.

They were fierce with their attack and Marcelinho forced an early save from Gurpreet  Sandhu. The Brazilian darted into the Bengaluru  goal but his shot was saved by Gurpreet.

While Bengaluru had more possession, MB attacked better and had more shots at goals. Gupreet was constantly called upon with him keeping Krishna out early on. He came up with another fine save, getting a hand to Carl McHugh’s fierce shot which should have seen the back of the net.

After a series of raids, Bagan were awarded a penalty when Pratik Chaudhari brought down Krishna in the penalty box after the Fijian was set through on goal by Marcelinho. Krishna sent the keeper in the wrong direction to put his side ahead.

Habas’ side went two goals ahead just before the break. Once again, Bengaluru  conceded from a set-piece. Harmanjot Khabra committed a foul on David Williams just outside the box. Marcelinho’s freekick snuck past Gurpreet, his second goal in three games.

Bengaluru  continued to dominate possession but lacked attempts on goal. MB continued to find the right time to pounce on opportunities. Sandesh Jhingan tried a powerful strike which Gurpreet once again kept out. 

The custodian prevented Bengaluru  from losing by a bigger margin.

Manvir Singh had a chance when he was set through on the right flank. But with options in the box, Manvir tried for glory only for Gurpreet to make a strong save.

Bengaluru had to wait until the 87th minute for their first real chance. Sunil Chhetri managed to get past Jhingan and struck a low shot at goal but Arindam Bhattacharja dived to his right to deny the BFC skipper. 


Football ISL: Tough test ahead as Kerala faces Goa

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Bambolim, Goa: Kerala Blasters face a tough challenge as they take on table topper Goa in the hero Indian Super League  at the GMC Stadium, Bambolim on Saturday.

Kerala has grabbed seven points from their last three games compared to 6 in their first 9 matches. However, their coach  Kibu Vicuna admitted  that the fixture against Goa would be a much more difficult test.

After struggling for goals initially, Kerala’s attack has come together in the last 4 matches. In their last four outings, Kibu’s side has scored eight times having attempted 87 shots at an average of 10.87 shots per match. In those four games, Kerala attempted 24 shots on target at an average of 6 shots per match.

“We are competing in every match till the end. In the last three matches, we competed well. We played well and we got the points,” he said.

However, on Saturday, they take on a side that has dominated games with maximum possession, having remained unbeaten in the last five games. Kerala have conceded 21 goals against Goa, the most against any team since ISL4.

“It’s true that tomorrow is a different game. It’s against a good team that plays good football but we are trying to recover the players and prepare for the game as much as possible,” said Vicuna.

“They are a good team, very well prepared with fantastic players. They are playing well. They have very dangerous players. (Igor) Angulo, (Jorge) Ortiz and Romario Jesuraj are playing well. I hope that tomorrow in the game, we are going to be better. And also creating more chances than at the beginning of the season,” he added.

Vicuna’s side is currently in ninth position but they are just four points away from fourth-placed Hyderabad FC and the coach sounded optimistic. “We are happy that we are close (to the top four) after the last game but we are focusing on the next game.”

Goa have been in top form as they have clawed back their way to the top three, putting up impressive performances. Juan Ferrando’s men are the comeback kings of the league, having earned ten points after conceding first.

“We play as a team. We fight until the last minute. Each player has to fight. They know that they will not be in the squad if they don’t do that. You will win some or lose some, but fighting is the most important thing,” stated Ferrando.

“It will be a very difficult game (against Kerala). They have been trying to play good football. They have different plans and are making the most of free spaces. They have a good squad,” he said.


Football ISL: Desperate Chennaiyin take on winless Odisha

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Bambolim, Goa: Chennaiyin – just one win in their last eight games will take on  Odisha  which has yet to taste a win  in the Hero Indian Super league at the GMC stadium here on Sunday

With captain Rafael Crivellaro ruled out for the season, Chennaiyin  coach Csaba Laszlo  knows that the order to recover from what was perhaps their worst display of the season, against Hyderabad remains quite tall. 
Many of the strengths that they displayed in early season looked to have vanished. Chennaiyin let in four goals against Hyderabad, the same number they conceded in their first four matches. Add that to their misfiring attack — they have just scored eight goals, the lowest in the league — and they  find themselves in a real conundrum.

“I think the last game’s performance was bad,” said Laszlo. “I don’t want to run away from this because altogether we made a lot of mistakes. I think after this game, everybody in my team has to go and think about it. From the first minute to the last, we were not really in the picture. We have to change, we have to analyze the mistakes and we have to go back to where we were before.”

Chennaiyin’s foreign players have been underwhelming so far — they have just three goals between them, the lowest by any foreign contingent. Laszlo will hope for more from them against Odisha.  

Stuart Baxter’s coached  Odisha  meanwhile, will be hoping to pick up from the thumping win they scored over Kerala. They may still be rooted to the bottom of the table, but a win over Chennaiyin will take them to within two points of their opponents on Sunday. 

They also seem to have found an unlikely creative force in Jerry Mawihmingthanga, who now leads the Hero ISL charts for assists along with Hugo Boumous.

“It’s important to the degree that we needed to get those three points to give the players the belief and the confidence to continue the roll around,” said Baxter. “The players did a fantastic job in retaining their confidence and their belief despite the results being against us sometimes quite unluckily. But, we do need that to gain a little bit of momentum and now hopefully, we can kick on.”  

Football ISL: Odds are even as Jamshedpur takes on Kerala Blasters

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Vasco, Goa: Odds are even as  Jamshedpur faces   Kerala Blasters  in the Hero ISL   at the Tilak Maidan Stadium on Sunday.

Jamshedpur are placed fifth on the Hero ISL table with 13 points after nine games and a victory against Kerala could push them to third spot. They have lost just two matches — the second-lowest tally in the league.

No doubt, the 1-0 victory over playoff contenders Bengaluru would have boosted their morale. But one thing that coach  Own Coyle wants is that his side doesn’t get carried away at this stage of the season.

“When you win, the morale is always high but equally (after) the loss we suffered against Goa…we picked each other up and worked very hard to get a smile on our faces and go again, which we did against Bengaluru,” he said. “That’s certainly the quality we have at this club. We never get too high when we win or low when we lose. We look for the balance, understanding and (ways) to improve.”

Jamshedpur will certainly fancy the three points against a struggling Kerala, who come into this game after a demoralizing defeat to Odisha . The results may have not gone Kerala’s way but Coyle has been watching his opponents closely.

“If you look at Kerala’s games, they have been very unlucky. The other night, they lost 4-2 (to Odisha) but Kerala could have easily scored 5-6 goals,” Coyle stated. “When teams have had disappointments this way, they can be very dangerous, so we have to make sure we’re ready for that.”

For Kerala, it will be a chance to restore pride with coach Vicuna believing his side are still in contention for the playoffs. Vicuna found success at Bagan with an attacking and possession-based brand of football, but has found it tough to get results with an injury-marred Kerala side, who have claimed just one win. However, the Spaniard refused to attribute Blasters’ poor results to his style.

“It is not a question of style,” Vicuna said. “The team (I had at Mohun Bagan) is different, the players are different. We started well this season and now we are making changes, we are not playing the same as we did at the beginning. It is not a question of being stubborn with the style, because we are changing things every game, we are approaching every match differently since we are playing different teams. We are focusing on our game as well as the style of our opponents.”