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Football

ISL Pre-season friendlies: Results and fixtures — Kerala Blasters, FC Goa, Mumbai City get going

ISL Pre-season friendlies: Results and fixtures — Kerala Blasters, FC Goa, Mumbai City get going
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By

The Bridge Desk

Published: 3 Nov 2020 8:08 AM GMT

The seventh season of the Indian Super League (ISL) is almost upon us and the ISL clubs are gearing up for what is going to be a vastly unique season. To be played in one centralised venue, Goa, across three stadiums, within a secure bio-bubble, ISL clubs have been left with no other option but to play out pre-season friendlies against one another, in a first.

Usually, ISL clubs prefer to go abroad, with Spain being a popular destination, for their pre-season and play friendlies with lower tier Spanish clubs. In fact, 2018-19, the erstwhile ATK FC created quite a stir when they took on Premier League side Fulham in a friendly affair.

https://twitter.com/HydFCOfficial/status/1320365645234622465

This season, if things would have gone as planned, we might have seen matches between Manchester United and SC East Bengal or Rangers and Bengaluru FC. However, as luck would have it, the pandemic struck, thus restricting all 11 ISL teams and forcing them to have their pre-season in Goa.

As most teams hit the ground running, a few friendlies have already been played out, here we take a look at the results and the upcoming matches.

Results:

October 25: Kerala Blasters 2-0 Hyderabad FC

October 30: Kerala Blasters 0-0 Mumbai City

November 1: FC Goa 3-2 Jamshedpur FC

November 2: Mumbai City 1-0 Chennaiyin FC

https://twitter.com/MumbaiCityFC/status/1323294571028115457

Upcoming fixtures (Pre-season friendlies):

November 8: FC Goa vs Chennaiyin FC

November 10: Odisha FC vs Mumbai City

November 11: FC Goa vs Hyderabad FC

November 14: FC Goa vs ATK Mohun Bagan

November 15: Odisha FC vs Chennaiyin FC

Fixtures with no confirmed dates:

Bengaluru FC vs Mumbai City

Bengaluru FC vs Hyderabad FC

How the teams fared:

Kerala Blasters

Kerala Blasters were the first team to take the field in a pre-season match as Kibu Vicuna’s men clashed against Hyderabad FC on October 25th in Parra, Goa.

https://twitter.com/KeralaBlasters/status/1320639983116378112

It was an 80-minute match, given it was the first game after a long, long off season. Talented Indian youngster Rahul KP scored a brace for Kerala to help them to a 2-0 win over Hyderabad.

Next, Kerala Blasters took on ISL title contenders Mumbai City FC on October 30th, a match that ended in a goalless draw.

The Blasters are further supposed to play against Odisha FC and Hyderabad FC before they begin their campaign against ATK Mohun Bagan FC on November 27th but the dates haven’t been finalised yet.

FC Goa

As per reports, FC Goa have planned to play four friendly matches before the season is underway, and, in fact, they have already featured in one.

Ishan Pandita Ishan Pandita in FC Goa training (SourceL FC Goa/Twitter)

On November 1, Juan Ferrando’s side took on Jamshedpur FC, coached by Owen Coyle at the Don Bosco Ground in Panaji. In what was a high-scoring affair, Goa prevailed 3-2, courtesy of a late winner by Ishan Pandita. Igor Angulo and Len Doungel were also on the scoresheet for the Gaurs while Davide Grande and Mobashir Rahman scored for Jamshedpur.

Ferrando fielded a strong side with Ivan Gonzalez, Edu Bedia, and Igor Angulo among the starters. James Donachie, who is on loan at FC Goa from A-League side Newcastle Jets, also featured in the game as he came off the bench for the final 15 minutes.

FC Goa are scheduled to play three more friendlies before the season starts,

Mumbai City FC

Pundits are considering City Football Group (CFG) backed Mumbai City as genuine title contenders in the seventh season of the ISL. Not only do they have one of the strongest teams on paper but also they have Sergio Lobera, one of the best coaches the ISL has seen, at the helm.

However, considering their pre-season results, the Islanders have had a slow start. They drew 0-0 against Kerala Blasters in the first match but managed to edge out two-time ISL champions Chennaiyin FC 1-0 in their second friendly.

Star signing Adam Le Fondre, who has joined on loan after scoring for fun Sydney FC in the A-League, scored the only goal of the encounter. At least four foreigners featured for Mumbai, including Le Fondre, Cy Goddard, Hernan Santana and Bartholomew Ogbeche while Chennaiyin fielded an all-Indian line-up.

Mumbai are supposed to take on Bengaluru FC and Odisha FC (November 10) before the season kicks off.

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