Eelco Schattorie made a dream start to his I-league coaching career with Prayag United as the side from Kolkata humiliated United Sikkim by a margin of ten goals to one in a one sided affair on Saturday afternoon. Earlier on Friday, Mumbai FC made a remarkable comeback against Sporting Clube de Goa emerging victorious by 3-2, having gone down by two goals in less than twenty minutes from kick-off.

Red Lizards Crawl Back Up

Round five of the 2012-13 I-league season began on Friday with Pailan Arrows playing hosts to Pune FC.  Arrows had not conceded the first goal in any of their matches’ this season but it took Pune FC only ten minutes against the run of play to push Arthur Papas boy’s on the back foot  as Tsewang gave the lead to the  Red Lizards. Arrows had a number of chances but the best one fell to Alwyn George but his effort was cleared by Gurjinder Kumar. Seconds after resumption of play Daisuke Nisiguchi picked up his second assist for the night by setting up a simple tap in for Subash Singh which wrapped up the match in favor of Pune FC. Match ended with a 0-2 score line in favour of Pune, who have now leapfrogged Arrows into fifth place.

Kolkata Giants Held

The newly promoted outfit – ONGC are yet to pick up a win this season and this clash was supposed to be a walk in the park for Mohun Bagan but at the end of ninety minutes Mohun Bagan was left ruing a barrage of missed opportunities a as they could only muster up a single point from their trip to the capital. ONGC’s backline did a remarkable job by keeping the trio of Odafa, Nabi and Jewel Raja at bay. The Mariners controlled the pace of the match and their players came agonizingly close to find the back of the net in the second half while ONGC played counter-attacking game. In the end it was their shot stopper Prosenjit Ghosh who emerged as the Man of the Match as he helped his side to earn only their second point of the season.

A Win At Last For Mumbai

Meanwhile, Mumbai FC came from two goals down to pick up their first win of the season against Sporting Clube de Goa. It seemed Khalid Jamil’s men were headed for yet another defeat after both Obiora and Dawson Fernandes stuck for the Flaming Oranje on either side of quarter of an hour mark but the Mumbai side had an altogether different game plan this time around. Gabriel’s 25th minute tap-in got Mumbai FC back into the match after Gerard D’Mello had spilled down a simple cross in the box. Mumbai then kept on pushing for the equalizer which was eventually provided by Justine Stephen in the extra time of the first half.

The Goans went down to ten men in the second period which tilted the balance heavily in favour of Mumbai FC and ultimately it was this one man advantage which would come back to haunt the Goans with the Mumbai FC posing relentless pressure on them. Haroon Amiri eventually slotted in the winner barely one minute from regulation time and handed over his side their first win of the season which would indeed boost their confidence going forward.

Churchill Wins The Goan Derby

Last match of the evening saw Goans giants Churchill Brothers and Salgaocar FC take on each other where Churchill emerged victorious by two goals to one thanks to a late winner by Henry Antchouet after the first half had ended 1-1. Churchill dominated the proceedings in the beginning. Moghrabi and Balan kept piling up pressure at the Salgaocar back-line and eventually their persistence paid as Balan won a penalty for Churchill half way into the first half. Beto stepped up and slotted in the ball from the spot to give Churchill a much deserved lead which they eventually squandered a minute from half time after Sean Ronney scored from the penalty on the other side of the pitch after Ravanan handled the ball inside the box. Churchill dominated the second half as well but they had to wait till the 88th minute when the substitute Antchouet brilliantly controlled an overhead cross to slot in the winner.

Prayag United Humiliate United Sikkim

Saturday saw reigning champions Dempo do business as usual against Shillong Lajong and East Bengal pick up a comfortable 3-0 win over Air India. Despite such dominating performances it was Prayag United who stole the limelight and headlines from the powerhouses of the Indian football as they taught a football-ing lesson to the newly promoted United Sikkim by handing them the second biggest defeat in the I-league history; the match ended 10-1 in favour of Prayag United.  Prayag who had suffered a shock 3-2 defeat from the hands of Shillong in previous round came into the match with a point to prove.  Ranti Martins scored half of his side’s goals with the first one coming in as early as the third minute. United Sikkim got one back immediately with Nima Tamang’s grounded shot, but all hell broke ten minutes after parity was restored. Ranti doubled his and his side’s tally at the quarter of an hour mark and Carlos Hernandes added his brace in the next twenty minutes leaving United Sikkim shell shocked. Ranti Martins completed his hat-trick six minutes from half times as the score read 5-1 going into the half time.

Five Star Performace by Ranti Martins

The writing was on the wall as far as the result was concerned which is why Prayag took their foot off the paddle for about 30 odd mins after their fifth goal but once Sylo netted their sixth goal in the 71st minutes the floodgates opened again. Ranti Martins scored his fourth and fifth in the space on three minutes to make it 8-1 in the 79th minutes.  The purple brigade scored two more in the injury time, first with Rafique in 91st minute and later Martins seemed to have taped in from a CK Vineeth cross but later the final goal was ruled as an own goal from Michael Rodiriguez.

Business As Usual For The Biggies

League Table after round 5

Harmanjot Khabra scored a goal each on either side of the half while Penn Orji added the third fifteen minutes from time to give East Bengal an easy win over the Air-India. In the last match of the round Dempo took on Shillong Lajong at Goa, While Dempo enjoyed lion’s share of possession it was Shillong who had maximum attempts at the goal in the first half. Shillong’s back line looked rock solid but their goal keeper looked quite uncomfortable when it came to handling crosses which eventually resulted in Dempo’s first goal. On the stroke of half time Climax Lawrence’s cross found an unmarked Sueoka who headed in from three yards to give the champions the lead while Ralte stood still. Miranda doubled Dempo’s lead five minutes into the second half after he scored in from a rebound.  Jibon Singh finally got one back for Shillong but after Sueoka converted the penalty in the injury time the game was all but over. Dempo would go on to add one more which had Sueoka involved in the link up play before Anthony Pereira tapped it in to hand Dempo a win by 4-1.

Flop of the Week

AIFF wins this category hands down with their scheduling of I-league matches. On one side they are figuring out ways to popularize the league in the country and at the same time they schedule matches on weekdays and that too at two in the afternoon. That is some logic that is beyond understanding. One would advice AIFF to hold matches in the evening if they want the to increase the shambolic attendance of the I-league matches.

TheHardTackle’s Dream Team (Round-5)

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