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- The Series
The Indian Super League had an encouraging start in its inaugural season. While this site would like to see more young Indian talents given a chance in the starting line-up, the presence of any Indian footballers taking the field alongside experienced professionals is encouraging. In this weekly mini-series, we take a look at the best Indian performers.
While it was festival time during week six of the Indian Super League, the seven teams in action during the week served us a few on-pitch firecrackers as well. A total of 15 goals were scored in five games of a shortened week of football which witnessed as many as three away wins and no team managing to register a home win. Kerala Blasters continue to entertain us all; their two matches in week six featured ten goals, as they ebbed and flowed from one extreme to another.
Here is a look at the top five Indian players from week six.
Cavin Lobo // 27 // Kerala Blasters // Midfielder: The 27-year-old Goan was the driving force behind Kerala’s stunning win over NorthEast United. Lobo scored his first goal of the season in the 4–1 win in Guwahati to lift the Blasters from the bottom of the table, and secure their first away win of the season. Lobo also assisted Chris Dagnall’s second goal of the game.
Arata Izumi // 33 // Atletico de Kolkata // Midfielder: Izumi continued his fine goalscoring run this season by netting twice at the death for Atletico against Kerala Blasters. The champions looked listless and out of ideas before Izumi’s late cameo proved to be the difference in a game of equals. Izumi has four goals to his name now and has truly been one of the star Indian performers of the season.
TP Rehenesh // 22 // NorthEast United // Goalkeeper: Although the young goalkeeper failed to stop Kerala from running away in Guwahati, he was in his elements in NorthEast United’s win over Chennaiyin in a stop-start game. Rehenesh couldn’t do anything with Elano’s volleyed finish, but had a hand in keeping out the spate of Chennaiyin attacks throughout the game, as the Highlanders held on to do the double.
Sandesh Jhingan // 22 // Kerala Blasters // Defender: Like Lobo, Jhingan made sure NorthEast never came back into the game after Kerala went ahead in the first minute through a Chris Dagnall goal. Jhingan was an imposing presence at the back, clearing the balls into the box and being an aerial monster. He even kept the likes of Simao in his pocket all evening.
Arindam Bhattacharya // 26 // Pune City // Goalkeeper: The 26-year-old Kolkata-born goalkeeper was one of the protagonists in the goalless draw between Mumbai City and Pune City in the western derby at the DY Patil Stadium. Arindam made a string of fine saves throughout the match, the highlight of which was a point blank save from a Kuttymani volley.
Written by Abhijit Bharali