Table dynamics, historic result, and Golden Boot probables cap off the week gone by of ISL 2023-24
The latest week of the Indian Super League (ISL) 2023-24 rounded off with the points table delivering an interesting depiction of what rests in store for each team in order to achieve their objectives for the ongoing season. There were a flurry of expected results, some convincing outcomes, certain gripping draws, and a whole lot of power-packed, action-filled footballing drama that caught the attention of the viewers.
From table toppers solidifying their spots in the upper half of the standings to sides toiling hard to get out of the rut at the bottom, there is a lot that happened this week which could have consequences in the how the ISL Season 10 action unfolds in the coming couple of weeks. There were multiple senior stars who rose to deliver the goods for their teams, whereas the fight for personal glory in the form of the Golden Boot award has become one to watch out for too. Here is a recap of all that happened in the previous week of the ISL 2023-24 campaign.
Historic start to Matchweek 11
Punjab FC finally broke the jinx for them in the season and notched up their first win in the Indian Super League as they eclipsed Chennaiyin FC 1-0 at home. After coming close to crossing the finishing line multiple times in the last 10 games, the side finally sealed the deal in a result that would have come as a massive satisfaction for the entire squad. “I believe winning this game will give them extra motivation because they need it. I was very happy to see my players so glad today,” Punjab FC head coach Staikos Vergetis remarked after the match, breathing a sigh of relief as the matchweek 11 of ISL 2023-24 began on a high. The I-League 2022-23 champions will be hoping to put the past behind them as they look to build upon this success in the second half of their maiden ISL campaign.
Table dynamics drive close attention
Nearly midway into the campaign, the picture regarding the holders of spots in both the upper and lower halves of the points table is getting clearer. Right now, due to the AFC Cup and AFC Champions League commitments, not all teams have played an equal number of matches, giving the sides with lesser games an opportunity to catch up with those above them going ahead in the campaign. The examples of those are evident straightaway, with FC Goa and Kerala Blasters FC being tied at 20 points, but the Gaurs claiming the pole position because of playing two lesser games (10) as compared to the Tuskers (8).
Mohun Bagan Super Giant have played the least matches amongst all teams (7), but their six victories and a draw have put them just a point behind the league leaders, with plenty of matches in hand to displace their coveted spots. Similarly, Mumbai City FC fans needn’t be overly concerned with their current fifth position in the standings, given that they have played only eight games and will have enough chances to inch closer to the top spots.
That picture isn’t as pretty for the teams at the bottom, with Jamshedpur FC, and Hyderabad FC each playing 10 games each, still searching for their first win of the season. The likes of Chennaiyin FC and East Bengal FC, both with 11 and 10 games each respectively, have to ensure that they don’t sustain a positive run given that the sides ahead of them are well capable of catching up in the second half of the season.
Golden Boot battle intensifies
There is a keen eye on individual laurels and glories in every ISL season, and the race for the Golden Boot is an equally interesting one this time around. Jorge Pereyra Diaz leads the chart with six strikes in eight games, but Dimitrios Diamantakos, who scored the winner for Kerala Blasters FC against Punjab FC, is inching closer to the Argentine with five goals for the Tuskers’ forward.
East Bengal FC star Cleiton Silva is as usual there and thereabouts of the top spot, with his name third in the list with five goals in eight games, though his side played a goalless draw with the Islanders. Roy Krishna has stormed to the fourth place with a fantastic brace against Hyderabad FC, but an impressive name there on the fifth is that of Odisha FC centre-back Mourtada Fall. The towering Senegalese has scored thrice in five games this season, and his goal-scoring numbers are simply amazing with a strike in every 5.2 appearances across his six-season-long ISL career.
He is the highest-scoring defender in ISL history, and placed 17th in the list of all-time top-scorers, ahead of the likes of genuine forwards like David Williams (17), Daniel Chima Chukwu (16), Diamantakos (15), amongst others. Will Fall continue to deliver such terrific numbers upfront going ahead in this campaign?
Team of Matchweek 10
Goalkeeper: Amrinder Singh (Odisha FC)
Defenders: Amey Ranawade (Odisha FC), Rostyn Griffiths (Mumbai City FC), Hijazi Maher (East Bengal FC), Subhasish Bose (Mohun Bagan Super Giant)
Midfielders: Mohammed Azhar (Kerala Blasters FC), Ahmed Jahouh (Mumbai City FC), Rafael Crivellaro (Chennaiyin FC), Javi Hernandez (Bengaluru FC)
Forwards: Roy Krishna (Odisha FC), Cleiton Silva (East Bengal FC)
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MW10 Fantasy Roundup
MW10 Winner- Siddharth S
Average points: 51
Top 5 point scorers:
Rahul Bheke: 12 points
Mehtab Singh: 12 points
Mourtada Fall: 12 points
Akash Mishra: 12 points
Phurba Lachempa: 12 points
Ones to watch:
Abdenasser El Khyati (vs MBSG, KBFC)
Jason Cummings (vs MCFC,FCG)
Arshdeep Singh (vs MBSG)
Dimitrios Diamantakos (vs MCFC)
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