Best XI of ISL 2023-24 Matchday 3 ft. Sahal, Petratos, Noah, and Javi
The equations have started to appear clearer than ever before as we finished the third matchday of the 2023 Indian Super League season.
The strengths and weaknesses of all teams were put on display, and after this week, there are only two teams remaining who are yet to open their points tally. Here, we will take a look at the top performers of the week:
Goalkeeper: TP Rehenesh
This was a high-scoring round in ISL, where only one of the 12 teams managed to keep a clean sheet. Hence, it is only right if we select the goalkeeper from that team in our team of the week, which explains the selection of Jamshedpur’s TP Rehenesh.
Although the Red Miners have really struggled with goal-scoring this season, they have been solid, thanks to the leadership from the last line of defense. In the 1-0 win over Hyderabad, Rehenesh made six saves to ensure his team won three points.
Defenders: Elsinho, Melroy Assisi, Rostyn Griffiths, Jay Gupta
The second Jamshedpur player to feature on this list is their Brazilian central defender, Elsinho. He took no time to prove his class by winning the player of the match award in only his first match against East Bengal, while he also played a key role in the Red Miners keeping a clean sheet against Hyderabad. Moreover, he also kept things moving from the back, having a pass accuracy of 84%.
While Jamshedpur got their first win in this matchday, newly promoted side Punjab got their first point on the board, thanks to Melroy Assisi. The central defender scored the important equalizer to get his team back in the game during the 1-1 draw against NorthEast United. Besides that, he also had 47 touches and a passing accuracy of 76%.
The game between Mumbai City and Kerala Blasters had plenty of battles, both on the pitch and off it, but Rostyn Griffiths won every single one of his battles in style. The Australian central defender blocked two menacing shots, had 74 touches, maintained a superb passing accuracy of 87% and also completed 10 of his 14 attempted long balls from the back. Griffiths was one of the main reasons why the Islanders won that game 2-1.
Jay Gupta had shown glimpses of his talent in the Durand Cup only, but in the new ISL season, he has proven that he is ready for the big stage. The 22-year-old left-back was involved in both defense and attack in Goa’s 3-2 win against Odisha.
While the highlight of his performance was the 96th-minute winner for the Gaurs, he also made three tackles and as many dribbles, made 45 passes with a passing accuracy of 90% and won six of the nine ground duels he was involved in.
Midfielders: Juan Mera, Javi Hernandez, Sahal Abdul Samad
Besides Melroy, another Punjab player who played a major role in the team getting a point is their star midfielder Juan Mera. He was the creator for Melroy’s goal, and besides having an assist to his name, he also had as many 75 touches, made six crosses and launched four shots, while also completing eight dribbles successfully.
Having started their season with two consecutive defeats, it was imperative for Bengaluru to get a win under their belt, which they did against East Bengal thanks to a sensational goal from Javi Hernandez.
The Spanish midfielder attempted six long balls and won four ground duels, but most importantly, he scored with a brilliant bicycle kick which helped Bengaluru beat the Torchbearers by a 2-1 margin, in front of their home crowd.
The performance of Sahal Abdul Samad was not only the best individual display from a player in this matchweek, but arguably, of the season so far. The midfielder covered every blade of the grass in the game against Chennaiyin, helping Mohun Bagan Super Giant win 3-1.
The former Kerala Blasters star gave two assists, had an excellent passing accuracy of 91%, took four attempts himself, and made three key balls while also completing two interceptions.
Forwards: Rei Tachikawa, Dimitri Petratos & Noah Sadaoui
The third and final Jamshedpur player on this list is Rei Tachikawa. The Japanese midfielder played out of position against Hyderabad, where Steve Cooper was forced to field him as a striker with the Nigerian Daniel Chima Chukwu misfiring.
But Tachikawa looked at home in his new role, causing the Hyderabad backline plenty of troubles. Besides scoring the only goal of the game, he took a total of five shots and also had 48 touches.
Among the flashy new recruits in Jason Cummings and Armando Sadiku, Dimitri Petratos remains the silent workhorse for Mohun Bagan Super Giant. He was heavily involved in the win over Chennaiyin, opening the scoring with his 22nd-minute strike. Besides that, he had a passing accuracy of 91% and successfully completed 7 crosses.
Besides Jay, another Goa player who has been successful in continuing his Durand Cup form into the new ISL season is Noah Sadaoui. The Moroccan attacker scored two of his team’s three goals in the 3-2 win against Odisha.
Besides that, he had as many as 87 touches and attempted a whopping 16 crosses and 9 shots, while also winning 10 ground duels and making five tackles, with an interception to round off a brilliant show.
Sachin Suresh (Kerala Blasters), Mourtada Fall (Odisha), Apuia (Mumbai City), Danish Farooq Bhat (Kerala Blasters), Manvir Singh (Mohun Bagan SG), Parthib Gogoi (NorthEast United), Naorem Mahesh (East Bengal)
Sachin Suresh was exceptional in goal once again as he played his first away match in the ISL and kept his side in the competition till the last minute but couldn’t prevent a 2-1 loss to Mumbai City.
Mourtada Fall was the hero for Odisha in a 3-2 loss as he scored two goals against his former side Goa but refused to celebrate both goals in front of a passionate Goa crowd who denied any love to their former star player.
Apuia scored the winning goal for Mumbai City in their first home match of the season and was exceptional in midfield pulling the strings and helping his side over the line in a tough fixture. Danish Farooq Bhat scored the only goal for Kerala in the match and won plaudits in an advanced role against the midfield consisting of Apuia and Yoell van Nieff who struggled to contain the Kashmir-born midfielder.
Manvir Singh of Mohun Bagan SG scored his second goal of the ISL season and continues to shine for the Mariners despite being given a right wing-back role in the new-look side. Parthib Gogoi just can’t stop scoring goals and put another one in the back of the net as NorthEast United came away with a single point. Naorem Mahesh scored a goal which proved to be a consolation as his side lost 2-1 to Bengaluru and the winger would be hoping for better performances from his teammates in upcoming matches.