Following a high scoring action in Gameweek 1 of the Hero ISL 2022-23, the second gameweek did not disappoint in terms of goals and drama. The week saw Kerala Blasters go top of the table on the opening day with Odisha FC, Bengaluru FC and Chennaiyin FC right there in the mix with three points each. What happened next switched things up in the top 4 early on in the season.
Here we look at what went down in Gameweek 2 of Hero ISL 2022-23.
A game of firsts
The first fixture in the second week had its own place in the history books. This was the first time ever that East Bengal FC were playing at home, in front of their faithful in the Hero ISL.
The Red and Gold brigade marching behind the former Indian National Team Head Coach, Stephen Constantine succumbed to the pressure early on as FC Goa’s Brandon Fernandes capitalised with the deftest of touches to lift it past a charging Kamaljit Singh in goal. This was the first goal FC Goa had scored under their newly appointed Head Coach, Carlos Peña.
A teasing delivery from Jerry Lalrinzuala on the left unleashed the pacy VP Suhair towards the Goan goal before he was brought down by an advancing Dheeraj Singh Moirangthem for a penalty. Cleiton Silva made no mistake from the spot to draw the score.
It wasn’t until the last minute of stoppage time when an Edu Bedia delivery found its way into the back of the net, that FC Goa registered their first win at the iconic Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan in Kolkata.
FT: East Bengal FC 1-2 FC Goa
Welcome to the Hali-show
Northeast United, who were controversially denied a point late in their first game looked at making things right as they played hosts to Hyderabad FC.
Halicharan Narzary’s dazzling feet proved troublesome in the early stages of the game as he was brought down on the left flank. The resulting free-kick saw Mohammed Yasir pick Bartholomew Ogbeche out at the far-post who handed the visitors the lead. Thereafter, Ogbeche, who has never missed a penalty in his entire career, was denied from the spot by Arindam Bhattacharja.
The man from Assam, Narzary won the ball deep into the opponent territory before slotting it past the keeper to make it two and celebrated against his former club. The night wasn’t over for Halicharan yet, as he set up Borja Herrera for Hyderabad’s third of the night. This was also his third goal involvement in two games this season.
FT: Northeast United FC 0-3 Hyderabad FC
The Cauvery Derby
In addition to the Hero ISL title, River Cauvery (Kaveri) is what adds spirit to this fierce rivalry down south. While both the teams, Chennaiyin FC and Bengaluru FC came into this fixture with narrow wins in the first gameweek, it was more than just maintaining their 100% records for them.
Roy Krishna found the net as early as in the fourth minute of the game after a brilliantly whipped cross in from the outside of Siva Sakthi’s boot. The search for bragging rights at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Tamil Nadu ended as a stalemate as Chennaiyin’s new signing Prasanth K drew level late in the first half.
At one end Gurpreet Singh Sandhu of Bengaluru was heavily involved in the game, being forced to keep the opponent’s at bay and at the other, Chennaiyin’s Debjit Majumder was sent off for a late challenge on Krishna. Having used up all of their three openings for substitutions, defender Vafa Hakhamaneshi was forced to put on the goalie mitts for the remaining eight minutes.
FT: Chennaiyin FC 1-1 Bengaluru FC
Mumbai on the up!
Des Buckingham ended the West Coast Brigade’s two-year-long wait for a game of football in their home stadium Mumbai Football Arena as Mumbai City FC sailed past Odisha FC.
While Phurba Lachenpa continued his great run of form with some straightforward saves in the first half, it was the former Mumbai-City keeper, Amrinder Singh who was beaten by his current-teammate as what was initially a save, ricocheted off Shubham Sarangi’s feet.
It was a night to forget for the returning Amrinder as Bipin Singh’s late attempt went through the defenders legs and there was nothing he could have done about it.
FT: Mumbai City FC 2-0 Odisha FC
ATK Mohun Bagan run riot in Kerala
In what is usually a curtain raiser, ATK Mohun Bagan paid a visit to their long-term rivals Kerala Blasters on the second matchday. Having failed to register a win in their opening game for the first time in three years, ATKMB were definitely not the favourites travelling to Kerala who apparently had the better of their opponents in the opening tie.
The game went on according to the script as Ivan Kalyuzhnyi put the hosts into the driving seat as early as in the sixth minute, but not for long. ATKMB’s Dimitri Petratos calmly sent the ball over the line to make it 1-1 in the 26th minute.
A sea-saw of attacks from both the teams was brought to a halt when Joni Kauko ultimately put the visitors in the lead in the 38th minute. In the second half, Petratos found himself at the end of yet another ATKMB move, as he went on to score his second of the night giving the Kolkata side a cushion right around the hour mark.
The last 10 minutes of the game is where it got even more exciting. ATKMB’s Vishal Kaith let Rahul KP’s distant attempt slip from under his comfortable grasp, giving the hosts some confidence. From one end where the ball unfortunately went from under the keeper’s legs to another where the ball was poked through the legs of the other keeper in Prabhsukhan Gill by the unlikeliest of goalscorers, Lenny Rodrigues.
Right at the death, the man from down under, Petratos completed his hat-trick bringing the noise levels in the arena down and under the usual level as he joined Kalyuzhnyi at the top of the goal scoring charts.
FT: Kerala Blasters 2-5 ATK Mohun Bagan
Gameweek 3 fixtures:
20th October – Northeast United vs East Bengal FC
21st October – Chennaiyin FC vs FC Goa
22nd October – Mumbai City FC vs Jamshedpur FC & Hyderabad FC vs Bengaluru FC
23rd October – Odisha FC vs Kerala Blasters FC
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