With two goalless draws, there were some eye-catching defensive displays, while DSK Shivajians bagging the ‘Maha Derby’ meant they also had some top performers. East Bengal were upset by Chennai City FC, while Aizawl FC lost a two-goal cushion. Here is the team of the week of the Round 14…
Arindam Bhattacharya (Bengaluru FC)
With Amrinder Singh injured, Arindam Bhattacharya has taken the goalkeeping responsibility from the Blues’ number 1 quite well. And against Mohun Bagan, it was the veteran stoppers’ real test, which he passed with flying colours. Came to his sides’ rescue when Darryl Duffy tried to smartly curl one in from outside the box. Also kept out Balwant Singh’s header from almost point blank range which he had absolutely no right to save. Although statistically he is ranked fourth in our goalkeepers, his brilliant overall game gives him a nod over the rest.
Ashutosh Mehta (Aizawl FC)
One of Khalid Jamil’s henchmen, Ashutosh Mehta is our highest ranked right-back for this round. Made 13 defensive challenges while succeeding in 10 of them. Succeeded in 4/6 tackles, and was crucial in thwarting the threat posed by David Ngaihte and Moinuddin Khan on Minerva Punjab’s left side.
Eduardo Fereira (Mohun Bagan)
The Sree Kanteerava Stadium witnessed a defensive masterclass from Mohun Bagan’s newest defensive rock Eduardo Fereira. Right from the onset, Eduardo was at the top of his game. His performance gradually rose, especially after going a man down with around half an hour to play. Had to be alert with Sunil Chhetri and Daniel Lalhlimpuia’s intricate play, which he patrolled with expertise. He is ranked in the top 5 for most challenges made this week with 18, with a success rate of 89%. Missed only one ground challenge out of 15, with a tackling rate of 100% winning all 5.
Dharmaraj Ravanan (Chennai City FC)
Chennai City FC captain Dharmaraj Ravanan led his side from the front as the newbies upset title favourites East Bengal. His astounding defensive stats just go on to show what an influential figure the 29-year-old was on Sunday. Ravanan won 12/17 challenges, while also winning 8/10 aerial duels. The Chennai City FC captain also intercepted as many as 10 East Bengal passes, putting an all-round defensive display.
Moinuddin Khan (Minerva Punjab FC)
Minerva Punjab’s left-back Moinuddin Khan put in a stellar performance as his side stormed back to draw 2-2 after going down 0-2 against table-toppers Aizawl FC. Assisted Loveday Enyinnaya’s goal from a set-piece, Attempted 18 challenges, out of which he succeeded in 8, while he showed his aerial prowess by winning 8 duels. He is our third highest tackle for this round with 5/6 tackles won.
Sanju Pradhan (DSK Shivajians)
Sanju Pradhan was brought back into the side on Sunday for the all important ‘Maha Derby,’ and proved to be an instant success. Had a hand in DSK’s opener, while directly assisted Holicharan Narzary’s and his sides’ second. Got on the scoresheet himself with a rifled effort after being fed by Juan Quero. Was second on our the chart for most key passes completed in this round with 4 passes, going on to show the 27-year-old’s impact on the game.
Milan Singh (DSK Shivajians)
Milan Singh has been showing glimpses of the form that earned rave reviews in the ISL. He was an absolute beast on Saturday as DSK Shivajians steamrolled Mumbai FC. He was at the centre of everything his side started, breaking up play with his defensive abilities. Showed his vision to set up a goal, while completing 50 passes with a pass rate of 80%; remarkable for a defensive midfielder. He kept the engine running, and broke up play tenaciously, winning 4/5 challenges.
Mahmoud Al Amnah (Aizawl FC)
Once again marshalled his midfield as he has done time and again this season for title favourites Aizawl FC. Opened the scoring for his side against Minerva Punjab FC with a well-timed effort, being efficient in midfield. Attempted 5 key passes out of which he succeeded in 2 but was helpless in both the goals his side conceded that let their 0-2 lead slip.
Nandha Kumar (Chennai City FC)
Nandha Kumar, Chennai City FC’s goalscorer on Sunday, proved to be a menace down the wing for East Bengal. The winger should have scored just after the 20 minutes mark, but was denied by an excellent Mehtab Hussain tackle. Eventually got his goal with a venomous shot. Had the necessary stats to justify his excellent showing, with 4 dribbles, 3 crosses and 2 key passes.
Juan Quero (DSK Shivajians)
DSK Shivajians’ fleet-footed veteran was on song as he single-handedly demolished Mumbai FC defence. Assisted 3 of the 5 goals his side scored and deserved a goal himself on the evening. Completed 43/50 passes, while he was also our highest ranked player for most key passes with an alarming rate of 100% (7/7). 8/9 passes completed in the box just go show what threat the Spaniard poses when he is on the ball.
Holicharan Narzary (DSK Shivajians)
Having garbed an excellent brace against Bengaluru FC in the 6th Round, Holicharan Narzary stepped up in yet another big game when he scored two against Mumbai FC. Having opened the scoring with an awkwardly scrambled effort, he showed great control from Sanju Pradhan’s cross to bury his second. Was unlucky not to bag a first half hattrick, with Kattimani somehow managing to get an arm to the 22-year-old’s powerful shot, which went out off the post.
BENCH: Vishal Kaith, Lalthakima, Sandesh Jhingan, Sehnaj Singh, Prasanth Karuthadathkuni, Kareem Nurain, Charles De Souza.