Best XI of ISL 2023-24 Matchday 1 ft. Akhtar, Luna, Petratos, and Samad
The first matchday of the 2023-24 Indian Super League has come to an end with a goalless draw between Jamshedpur and Durand Cup runner-ups, East Bengal. The Matchday 1 of the Indian top-tier football was full of decent performances as well as valiant efforts.
From menacing strikes to goal-line clearances, the first chapter of the ISL was quite interesting and kept the fans glued to their seats. Hence, without further delay, let’s take a look at the best XI of Matchday 1.
Mirshad Michu (NorthEast United)
NorthEast United commenced their 2023-24 Indian Super League campaign against Des Buckingham’s Mumbai City. The game was massively dominated by the Islanders on paper as Jorge Pereyra Diaz broke the deadlock in the 26th minute.
After taking the lead, Lallianzuala Chhangte and Greg Stewart also tried scoring and doubling the lead but Mirshad Michu stood strong in the nets. The Islanders took four shots against NorthEast United. Although Michu let go of two shots inside, but he also made two clinical saves for the Highlanders.
Prabir Das (Kerala Blasters), Asheer Akhtar (Northeast United), Héctor Yuste (Mohun Bagan SG), Jerry Lalrinzuala (Odisha)
Prabir Das gave an absolute five-star performance against Bengaluru. The 29-year-old had a high work rate for the Yellow Army in attack as well as defense. From making clearance to creating chances, Das bamboozled the opposition with his flair and speed.
Impressively, Kerala’s defense emerged as a fearsome unit against the Blues and the fans will be looking forward to seeing more of Prabir Das in the coming weeks of the Indian Super League.
Apart from Mirshad Michu, Asheer Akhtar was also a top performer in the Highlanders’ squad against Mumbai City. Playing at the Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium, Akhtar gave a stellar performance against the Islanders.
Pairing with Yaser Hamed in the back, the 28-year-old stepped forward to lead the defense as the Highlanders made 14 clearances and 10 clearances in addition to five blocks. In addition to the defensive duties, Akhtar also provided a valuable assist to Parthib Sundar Gogoi in the 2-1 loss against Mumbai City.
Héctor Yuste was nearly flawless against Punjab in Mohun Bagan’s first match of the 2023-24 season. Joining forces with the likes of Anwar Ali and Brendan Hamill, the defensive trio of Mohun Bagan made 13 clearances and accumulated six interceptions. The Spanish football player also completed the whole match and helped the defenders stay compact with his experience.
Odisha was the only team on the first matchday to keep a winning clean sheet and Jerry Lalrinzuala‘s role in the triumph was vital. Completing the whole 90 minutes, Lalrinzuala was rock solid in the defense as he made seven recoveries and won four duels. In addition to that, his passing accuracy was 88%.
Danish Farooq Bhat (Kerala Blasters), Sahal Abdul Samad (Mohun Bagan SG), Adrian Luna (Kerala Blasters)
Danish Farooq Bhat was also in fair form against his former club, Bengaluru on Matchday 1. Bhat fulfilled the duties of a playmaker as well as a defensive midfielder against the Blues. The former Real Kashmir midfielder made six recoveries and won four duels throughout the match.
Indian football fans witnessed a Sahal Abdul Samad masterclass against Punjab on Matchday 1. The young attacking midfielder’s versatility has been a joy to witness for the coach as well as the spectators. He completed the most dribbles in the match (6) and also gave an important assist to Jason Cummings to score the first goal of the match.
Despite being an attacking midfielder, Adrian Luna played Kerala Blasters’ inaugural match for the new season as a striker. And it’s fair to say that he accomplished the job quite well. Luna also scored the winner for the Tuskers in the 69th minute.
With his excellent performance against Bengaluru. The Uruguayan football player has proved that he’s ready to be the lynchpin for Kerala in another season at a new position. Luna was also the player of the match against Bengaluru.
Parthib Sundar Gogoi (Northeast United), Dimitri Petratos (Mohun Bagan SG), Jorge Pereyra Diaz (Mumbai City),
Parthib Sundar Gogoi was exceptional for NorthEast United in the 2023 Durand Cup, where he scored four brilliant goals for the Highlanders. Consequently, the young forward has started his maiden ISL campaign on the same note. The former Indian Arrows star scored his first Indian Super League goal on his debut against Des Buckingham’s Mumbai City with the help of an assist from Asheer Akhtar.
Mohun Bagan SG gave a dominant performance against Punjab in their first match of the new season. The Mariners have been in brilliant form in the last couple of months. Initially, they won the 2023 Durand Cup and then defeated Odisha 4-0 in their first AFC Cup. Consequently, Dimitri Petratos has been one of the key figures in all the wins.
After doubling the lead for the Mariners in the 38th minute with the help of an assist by Liston Colaco, Petratos sealed the victory for Mohun Bagan with an assist to Manvir Singh. With two goal contributions, the Australian forward has started his ISL campaign with a boom.
Leading the top-scorer list after the Matchday 1, Jorge Pereyra Diaz scored twice in Mumbai City’s Indian Super League opener against NorthEast United. Playing alongside Lallianzuala Chhangte and Greg Stewart in the attack, the Argentine forward has started his 2023-24 ISL campaign on a decent note.
He also scored five goals for the Islanders in the 2023 Durand Cup campaign. Daiz’s performance will play a major role in the further matches for Mumbai City. In addition to that, Des Buckingham’s side is also representing India in the AFC Champions League.
Vishal Kaith (Mohun Bagan SG), Pritam Kotal (Kerala Blasters), Miloš Drinčić (Kerala Blasters), Jeakson Singh (Kerala Blasters), Phalguni Singh (Northeast United), Daisuke Sakai (Kerala Blasters), Jerry Mawihmingthanga (Odisha), Liston Colaco (Mohun Bagan SG)
Punjab failed to trouble Vishal Kaith to a large extent in their first Indian Super League game. However, the Indian goalkeeper’s agility and composure are top-notch.
The Tuskers were in exquisite form against Sunil Chettri-less Bengaluru. However, even when the Blues created a few changes, they were denied by the solidity of Pritam Kotal and Miloš Drinčić.
Jeakson Singh impressed with his box-to-box pressing abilities while Daisuke Sakai dominated on the wings, leaving no room for the Blues to score or even commit an attack. Phalguni Singh gave commendable performances in the Durand Cup and it’s fair to say that he’s enjoying the prime period of his career in the ISL.
MBSG has been rampaging against ISL sides and Punjab became their latest victim as Liston Colaco provided a brilliant assist to Dimitri Petratos. Jerry Mawihmingthanga is a proper textbook winger, who always comes forward when it’s required. The former skipper broke the deadlock for the Kalinga Warriors by scoring in the 45th minute.