ISL 2017/18: ISL Team of the Week - Round 13
This Round saw Bengaluru FC become the 1st side to secure their berth in this season's knockouts while for NorthEast United & Delhi Dynamos, they bid adieu to their hopes for a Top 4 finish.
Jamshedpur FC continued their surge to towards the top of the table after collecting 15 of a maximum possible 18 points, while FC Goa have dropped down the ladder after managing just 1 point from a possible 9. But who were the players that stood out? Let's find out.
GK: Subrata Paul (Jamshedpur FC)
After collecting just 10 points in their opening 9 games, Jamshedpur knew it was now or never if they wished to push for a Top 4 finish. They went on and managed some impressive attacking performances without worrying too much about what happened at the back, because they knew they had someone solid under the bar that they could trust.
Paul was once again impressive in their 1-0 win over NorthEast United, managing 4 saves and proved his class in the air as well, grabbing 5 crosses. He also became the first keeper in the ISL to keep 20 clean sheets. Brilliant from the veteran.
RB: Rahul Bheke (Bengaluru FC)
The Mumbai boy was making his return in the XI against FC Goa and proved his class, successfully keeping the dangerous Mandar Rao Dessai and Manuel Lanzarote quiet for most part of the game.
He not only managed an incredible 13 defensive actions in the game, but helped his team build from the back, managing an passing accuracy of over 80%. Thus, helping his side in clinching the playoff spot.
CB: Tiri (Jamshedpur FC)
If there is someone that should be credited in helping Jamshedpur keep a watertight defence throughout the season (Conceded just 12 goals, the least by any side this season), it is the ISL 2016 winner and current club captain, Tiri.
He once again was handed the responsibility of keeping the opposition's main star, Marcinho quiet, which he did by shutting down the threat possessed by the NorthEast United talisman. He was always alert to any danger around him, clearing the ball away 5 times and also read the game perfectly, managing 3 interceptions during the game.
CB: Mailson Alves (Chennaiyin FC)
Chennaiyin FC suffered a disappointing loss against Bengaluru FC despite dominating the game at times and in the process, also lost their influential skipper Henrique Sereno through a red card.
However, it was Mailson Alves that stood up in his absence and marshalled the defence against Delhi Dynamos, not only managing a mammoth 12 clearances in the game but also scoring the vital equalizer that ensured that the Marina Machans take a point from the tie.
LB: Sahil Panwar (FC Pune City)
FC Pune City management would've thought that they were handicapped when their experienced defender Lalchhuanmawia Fanai was injured in one of the fixtures. But in stepped their 18 year-old academy graduate Sahil Panwar and he has made that place his own ever since.
He was a important figure in the back 4 which helped FC Pune City keep clean sheets in both their games of Round 13 against NorthEast United and Mumbai City FC. Especially, against NorthEast United who made an interesting change in their formation against the Stallions, when Danilo Lopez started out on the right.
CM: Ryan Taylor (ATK)
The former England U21 International carried the reputation of being a terrific supplier of world class deliveries inside the box, and he went on to put in his best performance in the ATK jersey against Kerala Blasters.
He managed to create an impressive 5 chances in the game, not only scoring the equalizer and but also going on to assist Tom Thorpe to deny Kerala Blasters 3 points from the fixture.
CM: Adil Khan (FC Pune City)
The Goan started off really well in the ISL in the inaugural season, but a career threatening injury kept him off the game for nearly two years. He was the first draft pick for FC Pune City this season and proved why he was rated so highly by the FC Pune City management.
Against NorthEast United, he was the lynchpin in midfield helping the Stallions transition from defence to attack, managing 59 passes at an Accuracy of 80%, while he sat back a bit and defended deeper against Mumbai City FC, managing to break the game with 6 tackles and 4 interceptions to his name.
AM: Wellington Priori (Jamshedpur FC)
There is something with Steve Coppell led sides that ensure a late surge towards the end of the league stages. And synonymous to that, is a particular player that steps up and delivers the goods.
Last year, Coppell led Kerala Blasters with a late surge towards the end of the league stages with CK Vineeth stepping up. This year, it has been the arrival of Wellington Priori. Jamshedpur FC have lost just 1 game in which Priori was a part of their side. Against NorthEast United, he stepped up and scored the goal of the season so far, a bicycle kick which gave Jamshedpur their 7th win of the season.
RM: Boithang Haokip (Bengaluru FC)
The David Beckham of the NorthEast as he is popularly known, hasn't had too much to offer to Roca's side this season because of the fact that he was sporadically used by the Blues. However, he made his start count against Chennaiyin FC, scoring Bengaluru's fastest goal in the ISL within two minutes. With this goal giving him the required confidence, it will be interesting to see if Roca keeps him in his XI at regular intervals.
LM: Sunil Chhetri (Bengaluru FC)
One man that has always believed that it is never over till it's over, is the Bengaluru skipper Sunil Chhetri. After all, many of his goals this season have come towards the end of matches. He displayed his prowess against Chennaiyin and dismantled any hopes of a their comeback when he scored late on in the game to guarantee 3 points for the Blues.
CF: Marcelinho (FC Pune City)
FC Pune City have never finished in the Top 4 in the past 3 seasons. However, thanks to this man, the Golden Boot winner of last season, the Stallions are looking solid for a top 4 finish this time around.
He was on song in Round 13, scoring a late winner against NorthEast United and also adding the second against Mumbai City FC, a result that ensured the Stallions took their tally upto 28 points this season, just 5 behind leaders Bengaluru FC.