I-league has entered in its last month, and things are getting really interesting at both the end of the table. All the teams in the bottom half of the table are potential relegation contendors, while Bengaluru FC is giving sleepless nights to Sanjoy Sen and Mohun Bagan with their impressive form. It would be interesting to see if Bengaluru FC can do what none of the other I-league club has ever achieved – defending the I-league title
No team have ever able to win back to back I-league titles and Bengaluru FC have great chance to be the first team to achieve it. They are in red hot form evident from their clinical victory over Kingfisher East Bengal. Ashley Westwood men started the league wobbly but with the time, they have improved really well. The team starting XI revolves around same group of players with few changes if needed. The stability in the team has made them a cohesive unit.
The Blues have given priorities both to the domestic league as well as the Asian club competition. They have secured place in the knock out phase of the AFC Cup 2015. They have not made any casual effort like some of the other clubs in past of neglecting AFC Cup.
Bengaluru FC had never won a match against East Bengal before; they always found the red and gold brigade difficult to play. The match was very important in context of the league for both the teams. East Bengal who prefer to give their first choice players rest from AFC competition and doing well in the league were fresh. Bengaluru FC from the start did not made it look like they have fatigue from AFC Cup. They kept pilling on pressure on the East Bengal. Sunil Chettri who found his scoring shoes again in AFC Cup was thick of the action throughout the match. Australian striker Rooney drew the first blood for the home side. East Bengal tried to come back in the match but resolute Bengaluru FC defence hardly gave them a chance. Chettri next quick to add second goal for the blues and after a short time Robin Singh put the game to the end with the third goal.
With this victory Bengaluru FC had put extra pressure on Mohun Bagan who is still at the top with margin of one point and a game in hand. East Bengal title hopes looks like have ended with the defeat. The game on the Sunday was evident that the clubs dona t need to ignore continental competition. They can focus on both and given the correct approach can get positive results. The team went in the match with sharp contrast, East Bengal preferring to rest their players for AFC Cup tie which they eventual lost and got knocked out of the competition. Bengaluru FC fielded strong side in all of their AFC Cup games and got good results. I-league clubs should understand important of performing well in AFC Cup since ita s their performance would decide the points for next season. If I-league clubs has to get birth in cash rich Asian Champions league they cannot afford to neglect continental football.
Royal Wahingdoh continued their fairy tale with an emphatic win over Salgaocar Sports club of Goa. The Goan greens were put under hammer by the Royal Wahingdoh products Jackichand Singh and Satiyasen. The duo was absolutely unstoppable in the match. Satiyasen scored hat trick while he was provided assist by Jackichand Singh in all his goals. Densil scored other goal for the home side. Douhou and Darryl Duffy scored goal for the visitors to bring some respectability to the score line.
Sporting Clube de Goa continued their fight back; ever since the international break the Flaming Orange has been unbeaten. Brandon Fernandes is leading the team from the front. The youngster has started to prove his worth to the team. First he scored goal from his trademark free kicks while second goal for Sporting scored by Pratesh Shirodkar. With this victory they have moved up from the bottom but still in the danger zone.
Mumbai FC continued to frustrate their opponents even in the absence of Khalid Jamil. The Mumbaikars are known to be the draw expert in the league and they continued to build on that reputation against Mohun Bagan. It was huge two point loss for the Green and Maroon Brigade. Mohun Bagan still at the top but it wona t be easy for them to win the title. Mumbai FC is still in danger of relegation and they would have to come out of their shell and start winning.
Shillong Lajong thrashed struggling Dempo Sports club in a game at shillong. Most successful side in the I-league Dempo Sports club are struggling this season due to various reasons. The defeat wona t help them at all with relegation spot wide open for many teams including them.