Create

Indian Super League: Best XI from week 2

TP Rehenesh

The Indian Super League moved into its second week and football fans were not only witness to some incredible games and goals but also to a fair share of controversy.Robert Pires, Fikru and Antonio Habas were involved in a tunnel bust-up, following which all three were handed lengthy suspensions and hefty fines. Delhi Dynamos finally clicked into gear against Chennaiyin while Atletico de Kolkata continued their unbeaten start to the season.Let’s take a look at the ‘Team of the Week’.Formation: 4-1-4-1

#1 Goalkeeper: TP Rehenesh - NorthEast United

TP Rehenesh

Stepping in for the injured Alexander Tzorvas, Rehenesh had big shoes to fill and high standards to maintain after Tzorvas’ brilliant performances in the opening game.

The 21-year old Indian didn’t have the best of starts to his ISL career as his horrible mistake let to Goa’s goal last week. But the Kerala state team captain redeemed himself with an assured display away at Mumbai City.

Rehenesh intercepted a lot of crosses during the course of the match and ensured a very plucky win against a Mumbai side that had pumped five goals past Pune City in their previous home game.

#2 Left Back: Robin Gurung - NorthEast United

Robin Gurung

The Shillong Lajong player keeps a low-profile on and off the pitch but executes his defensive duties with complete control.

The 22-year old has been an integral member of Rickie Herbert’s side that has surprised one and all with an impressive start to this ISL season.

Gurung made some crucial interceptions against Mumbai City and prevented the skilfull Nadong Bhutia from making any impact in the game. Along with captain Joan Capdevilla and Mtonga, he kept things tight on the left-flank and NorthEast’s defensive rigidity engendered another spectacular result for this young team.

#3 Centre Back: Anwar Ali - Delhi Dynamos

Anwar Ali
Anwar Ali (R)

The former Indian international laid the foundation of his team’s dominant victory over the high-flying Chennaiyin FC.

As his forwards ran the Chennaiyin defence ragged for much of the game, Ali’s imposing presence in defence ensured a near-perfect performance from the Delhi Dynamos team.

Ali, who has often been criticised for being a slow mover on the pitch, was unbeatable in the air and even took a nasty boot on his face while heading away an aerial ball.

His wholehearted commitment spurred his teammates on as Delhi claimed their first win of the Indian Super League.

#4 Centre Back: Wim Raymaekers - Delhi Dynamos

Wim Raymaekers
Wim Raymaekers (R)

Central defenders don’t often score goals from open play, but when they do, they do it in style.

Raymaekers reinstated this statement with a stunning drive in the very first minute of the match against Chennaiyin. The Belgian found himself in oodles of space outside the box after a neatly executed short corner and he curled a sumptuous strike past Bracigliano to give the Dynamos a dream start to the match.

Harm van Veldhoven’s side capitalised on this fantastic start and established their foothold in the game.

Raymaekers performed his defensive duties without fuss for the rest of the ninety minutes and was deservedly named Hero of the Match.

#5 Right Back: Bernard Mendy - Chennaiyin FC

Bernard Mendy
Bernard Mendy scores an acrobatic goal against Kerala Blasters

The former Paris Saint-Germain player was one of the most established and successful players in the European circuit to have signed up for the Indian Super League.

Primarily a right-sided full back, Marco Materazzi gave Mendy a new role in his Chennaiyin setup, the role of a left-sided defender in a back three, and the former French international has donned his new role quite comfortably.

But Mendy was in the news this week not for his defensive play, but for his extraordinary bicycle kick goal against Kerala Blasters. This sensational overhead strike proved to be the winning goal as Chennaiyin picked up their second win in as many games.

#6 Defensive Midfielder: Andre Santos - FC Goa

Andre Santos (R)

The Brazilian, playing in an unfamiliar role in central midfield, has been a tremendous addition to Zico’s side.

Naturally a left full-back, Santos adapted well to his new role in Goa’s two games this week – against Atletico de Kolkata and FC Pune City. He scored the opening goal against Kolkata and put in a tireless shift away at Pune City and was unlucky not to score.

Goa are yet to pick up a win thus far and languish at the bottom of the ISL standings. But Santos has been one of the silver linings in their disappointing start to the season.

#7 Central Midfielder: Koke - NorthEast United

Koke

One of the two players who have retained their place from last week’s best eleven, Koke has been a figure of consistency and also the primary driving force for the young NorthEast United side.

Continuing from his return of two goals in three games in the opening week, Koke turned creator against Mumbai City as he produced a delicate chip that sent Mtonga through on goal.

Koke’s indefatigable efforts on the pitch played a key role in United’s rearguard victory over Mumbai. He has also shown great fitness levels in these two weeks, playing all four of United’s matches in a space of eleven days.

#8 Central Midfielder: Elano - Chennaiyin FC

Elano

The set-piece maestro was at it again as he curled another of his trademark free kicks into the back of the net against Delhi Dynamos.

Earlier in the week, Elano scored the second of his three goals so far in the ISL as he slotted home a penalty against Kerala.

The former Manchester City man has been in sublime form ever since he landed in India and has shown the world that he still possesses the craft and flair which he is renowned for.

In Elano, Materazzi has a genuine match-winner at his disposal.

#9 Right Winger: Baljit Sahni - Atletico de Kolkata

Much of the media’s attention on Atletico de Kolkata has been reserved for their marquee player Luis Garcia and star striker Fikru Teferra. So much so that the efforts of right-winger Baljit Sahni have almost gone unnoticed.

With Fikru and Luis Garcia both missing from the line-up, Sahni took full advantage of his added responsibility against Kerala Blasters as he drove in a powerful finish to score his first goal of the season.

His work-rate and commitment has been excellent all throughout the opening two weeks of the ISL.

#10 Left Winger: Cavin Lobo - Atletico de Kolkata

Cavin Lobo

The Indian Super League was yearning for its share of Indian stars before Cavin Lobo took the football community by storm with a dazzling brace against FC Goa.

The East Bengal striker, who isn’t even a regular for the I-League outfit, scored two fantastic goals, the second of which was a stunning volley from the edge of the box.

With international players occupying much of the headlines in the opening days of the Indian Super League, Lobo’s performance would have come both as a relief and joy to the huge legion of Indian football fans religiously following the tournament.

#11 Forward: Iain Hume - Kerala Blasters FC

Iain Hume
Kerala Blasters FC forward Iain Hume (R) celebrates his goal against Chennaiyin FC with Nirmal Chettri

Apart from FC Goa, Kerala Blasters are the only team yet to register a win in the Indian Super League so far.

Much of their despair has been caused due to a wasteful and faltering frontline which has only managed two goals in four matches. But both of these goals have come from one man – Iain Hume.

The Canadian, who was playing in the English third division before signing for Kerala, has been one of the very few bright spots in a dull start to the season for the Sachin Tendulkar owned franchise. Both of Hume’s goals came this week, one apiece against Chennaiyin and Atletico de Kolkata.

Quick Links

Edited by Staff Editor
Be the first one to comment