ISL match week two: A sequel nobody asked for
Indian Super League's week two turned out to be a spectacle, but not because of the players. The referees decided it was their time to shine and steal the show.
What a thrilling conclusion to match week two in the Hero Indian Super League, minus the "Hero." As always, it didn't disappoint in keeping Indian football fans on the edge of their seats. From a surplus of red cards to matches that could put an insomniac to sleep, let's savor some of the major moments of this action-packed week.
When the "Blues" took "Red" too Seriously
The "Blues" decided to grace the pitch in their red and white away kit against Mohun Bagan, seemingly convinced that more red cards equaled more points. To no one's surprise, they collected two red cards in the last 15 minutes! Meanwhile, Mohun Bagan, despite their impressive attacking depth, struggled to score even as many goals as their opponents had red cards.
Mohun Bagan, however, used this match week to remind everyone who's boss at the top of the table.
The match between Odisha FC and Mumbai City at Kalinga Stadium was uncannily similar in many aspects. Everything seemed like a mirror image, from ball possession to goals, and they even matched the number of yellow cards. While Sergio Lobera may rue the two points lost, Des Buckingham might have been willing to trade those points if Odisha FC had allowed Ahmed Jahouh to return with him to Mumbai.
Mumbai City FC may have bolstered their squad on paper, but the void left by Jahouh's absence is hard to ignore. Both teams continued the pattern of similarity even in the points table, occupying the third and fourth spots with the same number of points.
Chennaiyin FC, the unconventional masters of goal drought
Chennaiyin FC, the masters of not scoring goals, are at it again. It's almost as if they've turned goal droughts into an art form, a skill honed to perfection. Will they surprise us with a late-season goal extravaganza yet again?
But hold on, the hot topic in Indian football isn't their goalless season. It's the enigmatic North East United under Juan Pedro Benali. Are they for real, or should we rely on the superstition that "Juan" is a lucky name in the Indian Super League? Meanwhile, Parthib Gogoi scored yet another jaw-dropping goal, but who's even surprised anymore?
Hyderabad FC had a dramatic start to the season, but not in the way they hoped for. We wish Laxmikant Kattimani a speedy recovery, Hyderabad FC might miss his presence. Yet, there's another puzzle – are they also missing the Manolo Marquez touch?
It might be a tad early to judge, but their performance was about as lively as a sloth's siesta. The return of Cleiton Silva did provide some entertainment, with a stunning free-kick goal to remind everyone who the real king is.
Snooze Fest Part Two
Kerala Blasters managed to secure three points at home, but the award for the most yawn-inducing game of the week goes to the thrilling Assistant Coach vs. Interim Coach match. Jamshedpur FC showcased their defensive prowess, while Kerala Blasters decided to dominate possession and proceeded with some rugby tackles, both without any intentions of actually attacking.
It was a déjà vu moment, taking us back to last season's memorable "team goal" born in this very fixture at the same venue. The best part? Luna celebrated precisely the same way as last year – talk about originality.
The never-ending saga of Majcen's goal
Even 24 hours later, the nation is still embroiled in the never-ending debate of whether Luka Majcen's goal was offside or onside. Regardless of the verdict, we can all agree that the refereeing standards remain as consistent as a weather forecast during a monsoon.
Meanwhile, Manolo Marquez's FC Goa started their season with a bang, making us wonder if they received a secret rulebook, unlike the rest of us. On the flip side, Punjab FC is off to a slow start, So, let's officially welcome them to the Indian Super League, once again, if you know what I mean.