I-League 2013/14 season so far has been closest and unpredictable. There is hardly anything to choose between the teams. Even Paul the octopus would have found wanting to predict the matches. Round 20 was no exception, it produced some unexpected results, and league is wide open at both the end.

Salgaocar FC under Derrick Periera had started the season on a bright note. At one point they were leading the table. Everything was going for them, but some key decision going against them in a few matches and fielding of unregistered players in a couple of matches cost them a few points. But now things have changed, winter break turned out to be blessing for Salgaocar FC. They have rectified their mistakes and look threatening. The 3-1 thrashing of Shillong Lajong was their third win on the trot after the league resumption.

Salgaocar FC continued their winning run in the match against the Shillong Lajong. After facing drubbing against the same opposition in Federation Cup this match was like a revenge match. The greens defence was brilliant on the day. They nullified the threat of Glen Cornell and Ulliams. The Salgaocar FC midfield was superior to Shillong FC; they created a host of chances for Forwards. The striking pair of Darry Duffy and Dudu Combined well for the Salgaocar FC, the Pair complemented each other well throughout the match. Duffy scored brace while Dudu scored the third goal for the Greens. Shillong Lajong Hookup scored just before the first half ends which had given some hopes in the 2nd half. The Salgaocar did not let Shillong Lajong settle in the second half. Shillong Lajong was not able to put Salgaocar under any pressure they were out of ideas and hardly created a creative move to double the defensive pair of Chika and Augustine. This win helped Salgaocar FC to replace Shillong Lajong at 4th place in the table.

The Signing of Nigerian striker Dudu Omagbemi has done wonders for the Greens. The Nigerian has been instrumental in all three wins since his comeback in India. He has scored in all three games and looks hungry for more goals. The experience of playing in Europe top divisions has made him look more dangerous. His rasping left foot has been terrifying for the goalkeeper in last three matches. His presence has lifted the team and they look dangerous.

Darry Duffy Back among the goals.

Darry Duffy Back among the goals.

Scottish striker Darryl Duffy after starting his debut season in I-League brightly had started to fade away. The striker scored 8 goals in the first half of the season and was not able to find the back of the net. He was used as a loan striker in most of the matches and it was not helping as well as the club. He was heavily marked and was not finding life easy upfront. But since the arrival of partner like Dudu Omagbemi have helped Duffy. Both the strikers are combining well up front creating chances for each other. After long time, Darryl Duffy scored brace against Shillong Lajong taking his tally of goals to 10.  This will definitely boast his morale going forward

After leaking goals in the first half of the season, the greens have shown good shape at the back. Chika Wali and the young Augustin Fernandes pair looks comfortable now at the back, Mathew Foscini and Nicolau Colaco have shown good work rate. Seems like happy days are back again in Salgaocar FC camp. The team is most experienced team among the top 4 and that could work in their advantage in a pressure situation at the business end of the league.

On the field Salgaocar FC continued their winning run in the match against the Shillong Lajong. After facing drubbing against the same opposition in Federation Cup this match was like a revenge match. The greens defence was brilliant on the day. They nullified the threat of Glen Cornell and Ulliams. The Salgaocar FC midfield was superior to Shillong FC; they created a host of chances for Forwards. The striking pair of Darry Duffy and Dudu Combined well for the Salgaocar FC, the Pair complemented each other well throughout the match. Duffy scored brace while Dudu scored the third goal for the Greens. Shillong Lajong Hookup scored just before the first half ends which had given some hopes in the 2nd half. The Salgaocar did not let Shillong Lajong settle in the second half. Shillong Lajong was not able to put Salgaocar under any pressure they were out of ideas and hardly created a creative move to double the defensive pair of Chika and Augustine. This win helped Salgaocar FC to replace Shillong Lajong at 4th place in the table

Other Matches

I-League Table

I-League Table

Relegation threatened Mohammedan Sporting have ended their winless streak. The black panthers surprised Sporting Clube de Goa at home registering a convincing victory. Sporting Clube de Goa was punished for their defensive errors. Brazilian striker of Mohammedan Josimar would be relieved man as he found back of the net after a very long time. With this win Mohammedan Sporting is in 11th place with 16 points and Sporting Clube de Goa dropped down to third place with 28 points. This loss is a major blow for Sporting Clube de Goa which might affect their title aspiration.

Kolkata derby was considered to be the marquee encounter of the round. The two tradition rivals Kingfisher East Bengal and Mohun Bagan are at the bottom half of the table. The derby did not live up to its expectation and the teams were found wanting in many aspects of the game. There were many opportunities missed up front by both sets of players. The match ended in 1-1 draw which did not help the cause of both the teams. South Sudanese striker Moga opened the scoring for East Bengal, which was cancelled out by CS Sabeeth in Second half.

Team of the round

The match in Shillong, Megahlaya was classic example why you call this season as most unpredictable season. Bengaluru FC were clear favourite to get full three points against rock bottom club Rangdjiad United FC. Rangdijiad United under their new coach Herring Shangpliang urprised Bengaluru FC 3-2. Steven Dias, Lalnunpuia and Ranti Martins scored for the host while Chettri and Rooney scored for Bengaluru FC. This defeat will be a wake up call for Bengaluru FC that winning the league would not be easy.

Mumbai FC continued their unbeaten run and hold Pune FC in an Nil-Nil draw. Pune needed a win to go on top of the table, but some brave defending by Mumbai FC denied Pune the win. Khalid Jamil boys were defensive from the start of the match. It seems like they were happy to get a point from the fixture. Despite having the territorial advantage Pune FC failed to break strong defense of Mumbai FC. The point in the match has helped Pune FC to jump on 2nd place in the league while Mumbai FC maintain their mid table position.