WITH THE UPCOMING season of the Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL) a little over two weeks away, teams have begun playing pre-season friendlies in their bid to gain match fitness and sharpness ahead of a long campaign. Most players will be playing football after a long gap due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and these friendlies can help them get up to speed ahead of what promises to be the biggest and most competitive season in the Hero ISL.
Kerala Blasters FC and Hyderabad FC were the first teams to kick off the pre-season friendlies when they faced each other on October 25. Youngster Rahul KP, who spent most of last season on the treatment table, bagged a brace as the Kochi-based club went on to register a 2-0 win over their opponents.
Kerala are reportedly set to play more friendlies against Odisha FC and Hyderabad FC again before they take on ATK Mohun Bagan FC on November 20 in the opening game of Hero ISL 2020-21.
Jamshedpur FC squared off against FC Goa on Sunday as both clubs looked to find their perfect combination with a new group of players to choose from. The Gaurs reportedly fielded five foreigners for the first half hour, while Jamshedpur played three.
After strikes from Seiminlen Doungel and Igor Angulo, new signing Ishan Pandita scored the decisive goal for the Gaurs in a 3-2 win. Spanish striker David Grande and Mobashir Rahman got on the scoresheet for Owen Coyle’s men who will face Chennaiyin FC on November 24 in their first match of the new campaign.
A new-look Mumbai City FC led by Sergio Lobera began their pre-season friendlies with a 1-0 win over Chennaiyin FC. Adam le Fondre was the sole goal-scorer for the Islanders in a match which saw the likes of Cy Goddard, Mandar Rao Dessai and Bartholomew Ogbeche get some gametime.
The Islanders are set to take on Bengaluru FC and Odisha FC in their remaining friendlies before their season kicks off against NorthEast United FC on November 21.
Indian Super League press release