Round 26 will be the Last Round of the I-League this season. The title is already sealed by the new entrant of the league, but I-League excitement yet to get over. The relegation battle is still on with the future of last season winner Churchill Brothers and Kolkata club Mohammedan Sporting will be decided in the last round of the season.
Mohammedan Sporting Hopes For The Miracle.
Mohammedan Sporting was back in I-League after spending a lot of time in the second division. The Kolkata Giants, who used to be the power house along with East Bengal and Mohun Bagan in the 80s and 90’s, were hoping for a good season. They even showed positive signs early on when they signed proven strikers like Josimar and Tolgazy Ozbey, defender like Luciano Sabrosa and play maker like Penn Orji.
Now, after the 7 months The Black Panthers find themselves at rock bottom of the I-League table. Nothing has gone in the favour of the club, even after having IMG-R players such Nabi, Nirmal Chettri and Manish Mathani on the roster. The team looked disjointed throughout the season.
In the last match of the season they would be up against the Mumbai Football Club in must win match. The Black Panthers have to secure three points to put pressure on Churchill Brothers and hope that Churchill Brothers do not secure a victory. Unlike Churchill Brothers Mohammedan Sporting have to depend on lot of permutation and combinations. Even if they secure a victory they would have to wait for Churchill Brothers and Salgaocar match result, hoping that Churchill Brothers do not get three points.
Will Churchill Brothers Survive?
It happens very rarely that the Winner of the league gets relegated next season. This rare incident might happen in I-League on the 29th of April 2014. 2012/13 I-League Season winners Churchill Brothers are in the crisis and may get relegated from the I-League.
No one had imagined Churchill Brothers in such position at the start of the season. In a lot of ways they themselves have to be blamed for it. Changing and chopping personnel during the season has not worked well for them. Their future is in their hands, they just have to secure a win in the last match against their Goan rivals to make themselves safe irrespective what happens to the Mohammedan Sporting and Mumbai FC match. Mohammedan Sporting defeat could be a bonus for the Reds that would ultimately secure them. AFC Cup performance must have been boosted for the club and it will play major role in the match against Salgaocar FC.
East Bengal Looks To Finish Strong
East Bengal always found them on the wrong end of luck. The Kolkata Giants have been battling hard in the I-League but have never been able to cross the finishing line. This season also they had a good chance to win the league. After a sluggish first quarter of the season, the Red and Gold Brigade bounced back under Armando Colaco.
East Bengal was the only team in the league to beat Bengaluru Football Club both home and away, but still they would see Bengaluru FC on the podium holding the I-League trophy. East Bengal will now look to finish 2nd in the league after overcoming the challenge of the United Sports Club. It is considered to be a dead rubber but the players of both the sides would look to end their season on a high.
Bengaluru FC Will Look To End On The High
Bengaluru Football club has been a surprise package of the season; the club has already secured I-League title in their first season itself. The club from Garden City would now look to end their campaign on a high note. They would take on Sporting Clube de Goa who has set their eye on a top 5 finish in the league. Sporting Clube de Goa would be eager to spoil the champion’s party in the last match of the season. It will be a battle of the two of the best coaches in the I-League, Oscar Bruzon and Ashley Westwood. Both have done the unimaginable with the limited budget they had. Both coaches had a young side and both were able to pull off a wonder in the season against some of the heavy weights. The match will be an exciting encounter and both teams are known to play beautiful football the viewers would not like to miss this match.
I-League Presentation Ceremony
AIFF is expected to have Presentation Ceremony for the I-League winners on the last day of the season i.e after the match between Sporting Clube de Goa and Bengaluru Football Club. I-League never had a formal presentation ceremony, which was criticized by fans. This will certainly earn some applause from the fans around the country. The presentation ceremony would be live on Ten Actions so that the viewers across the country gets a glimpse at the champions of the Indian Football.