I-League now has entered in its fag end. The league is getting exciting after every round. This season, I-League has been one of the most competitive and the winner of the league will have to do something special.
The Pune Football club was one of the front runners to win the league. The club even managed to pull a series of wins in the first half of the season. But after the resumption of the I-League after a long break Pune Football Club has lost their way. The Red Lizards have secured single victory after the resumption of the league. They have slipped to 6th position in the table.
The Pune Football Club, in first half of the season looked a settled unit. They were looking threatening and the defence was invincible and in the final third the team was clinical. The likes of Anas and Calum Angus were looking rock solid at the back. Indian players such as Gurjinder, Tabia, Ganesh, Nikhil Kadam were also playing brilliantly. The senior players like Douhou, Arata were looking good to take Pune towards the glory. But since the federation cup the spark in the Pune Football Club has been missing.
Injury to Arata Azumi, Anas Anathodika and Nikhil Kadam was a major blow for the club. Young Kadam, who used to who was a live wire in the flanks is getting missed. His absence has been hurting Pune Football Club title aspirations in the league. They have found a good replacement in form Gabriel Fernandes. The Goan has made a big impact for the club, scoring some crucial goals in crunch situation but failed to help a team win a game. Captain Anas absence has hurt the team badly, the centre back was a key member of the team. Since his absence in the defence, the club has conceded goals easily.
The Pune Football Club is now looking like an unsettled team in the defence. The Likes of Ranjan and Ralte have not been able to raise their level. The need of quality defender is clearly visible, the young players have failed to perform under pressure. They have to rectify their mistakes if they have to give end the season on the high.
Many believe that overemphasis on the young players have hurt Pune Football Club this season. The young players have not lived up to the expectations of the fans. They have found wanting in the pressure situation. They even lack quality holding midfielder who could dictate pace of the game and spread the balls. The new Australian recruit Mirjan Pavlovic has not done enough, he has failed to bring the spark in the team
Extra pressure on AFC Cup has shown on the players. The club had rather forgettable debut in the AFC, they were thrashed by all their opponents in the group stage. At last I-League Match against Salgaocar, the fatigue of the players was clearly visible. Salgaocar FC played to their strong point of playing on the counter and Pune found wanting in defence. Both goals of Salgaocar were because of poor defence, Gilber and Duffy took full advantage of Pune weak defence. The Red Lizards slipped to 6th place after losing the match.
Kingfisher East Bengal registered back to back wins first time in the season. The Red and Gold scored thumping 3-1 win over arch rival Mohammedan Sporting. With this win, they are in 3rd position with 34 points in 20 matches. They have an outside chance to win the title. The Goals coming From the boots of Seuoka, Abranches and Chidi for the Red and Gold while Josimar scoring for Mohammedan Sporting.
Mumbai FC and Dempo Sports Club played a boring 1-1 draw. Dempo legend Beto scores for the home side while Alfred Jaryan cancelling out the lead. The match was in the news for the brawl between players of both the teams after the match ended. Dempo now is on the 5th place while Mumbai at 8th place in equal number of matches.
Bengaluru Football Club took a step closer to the league title with the win over Mohun Bagan. The steel man was unconvincing in the match, but they would take the three points. Australian striker Rooney was the architect of the win for the Bengaluru FC. He scored a goal and created a goal in the match. The Bengaluru FC now travels to Goa where they will play final two matches in the league.
Churchill Brothers missed golden opportunity to get full points against Sporting Clube de Goa and do the double over the fellow Goan side. Anthony Wolfe gave the lead to the Churchill Brothers while scorcher from Boima Karpeh equalized for the Sporting Clube de Goa. Churchill Brother is slightly above the relegation spot with a game in hand.