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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.
The Indian Super League is inching towards its business end. With two more weeks to go before the semi-finals come around, week seven of the competition saw the highest number of goals (25) being scored with six out of six home wins and some eye-opening results. Holders Atletico de Kolkata moved atop the standings by laying waste to Goa after the Goans themselves had put Mumbai City to the sword with their record 7–0 win in Fatorda.
NorthEast United moved into the top four for the first time this season with their win over hapless Mumbai City, while Chennaiyin blew hot and cold as they thrashed Kerala Blasters 4–1 at home following their loss to Atletico in Kolkata. Roberto Carlos’ Delhi Dynamos maintained their good run with a win over Pune City, a result that saw Pune City drop out of the top four for the first time this season. Here are the top five Indian players from the most entertaining week of the ISL thus far.
Thongkhosiem Haokip // 22 // Goa // Striker: The 22-year-old striker started what turned out to be a comprehensive rout of Mumbai City as Goa inflicted a record 7–0 defeat on the visitors. Haokip forged a hugely fruitful partnership with Dudu in the Goa attack, and both strikers ended up with hat-tricks of their own. Haokip, however, couldn’t help Goa maintain their momentum as they lost 4–0 to Atletico de Kolkata in their next game.
Seityasen Singh // 23 // NorthEast United // Winger: Seityasen Singh, who was a revelation for Royal Wahingdoh in last season’s I-League, set the stage alight as NorthEast defeated a listless Mumbai City at home to move up to fourth in the standings. Seitya was a livewire throughout the game, and was unlucky to not score what would have been a deserved goal. His trickery in wide areas and work rate pinned Mumbai City back throughout the 90 minutes.
Thoi Singh // 25 // Chennaiyin // Winger// Central Midfielder: The Chennaiyin midfielder was an inspired presence in his side’s 4–1 win over Kerala Blasters in Chennai. Thoi, who started as the wide midfielder on the right, slotted in centrally when Raphael Augusto motored forward, and showed excellent link-up with right-back Mehrajuddin Wadoo as Kerala’s main attacking threats of Josu and Antonio German were easily contained.
Anas Edathodika // 28 // Delhi Dynamos // Centre-Back: The Kerala-born centre-back has been one of the finds of this season as his blossoming partnership with John Arne Riise at the heart of Delhi’s defence has seen them concede the lowest number of goals (9) this season. Anas scored with a free header in the Dynamos’ win over Pune City, and showed why he remains vital to his team’s fortunes, at both ends of the pitch.
Dhanachandra Singh // 28 // Chennaiyin // Left-Back: Dhanachandra opened the scoring for Chennaiyin against Kerala Blasters with a well-taken first time volley from outside the box. The attacking left-back only made his sixth appearance this season against Kerala but linked up well with his compatriots, Harmanjot Khabra and Jeje, down the left flank. His early goal meant Kerala were always on the back foot throughout the game, and never had the sniff of a win.
Written by Abhijit Bharali