With three more games remaining, five teams will be looking to fight it out to stay in the I League this season.
Dempo Sports Club are lying at the foot of the table in the I-League this season. Sporting Clube De Goa and Salgaocar FC are level on points with Dempo but are one and two places above Dempo respectively, courtesy a superior goal difference.
Dempo Sports Club and Salgaocar Football Club face each other two times in a span of ten days, with the first match scheduled on Wednesday(20/05/2015).Both these ties may have a major impact on deciding the team that gets relegated in this years I-League. Wednesday’s match is a vital game for both teams, a win would see both Salgaocar and Dempo jump a few places and move out of the relegation place.
Dempo are in a poor run of form at the moment having gathered just four points from their last five games in the league. Replacing Head Coach Arthur Pappas with Australian and Former Kingfisher East Bengal Coach Trevor James Morgan, could do little to change the fortunes of one of Indian’s most successfull clubs. Dempo have to face League leaders Bengaluru FC between their games against Salgaocar and Dempo have to pickup points against them(Salgaocar), if they dont want to get relegated, because Bengaluru FC are going for the title and will be expected to pick up maximum points against a Dempo side that has been poor throughout the season.The Bangalore based outfit have picked up a massive 13 points from their last 5 games and are just 3 points ahead of Mcdowells Mohun Bagan, having played a game more.
Salgaocar FC are on a even poor run of form than their Goan Counterparts Dempo SC, having accumulated a meagre 3 points from a possible 21 points in their last seven matches. On current form Salgaocar FC look almost certain to go down, despite being above Dempo in the League Table. Salgaocar have to face Bharat FC apart from facing Dempo home and away and both the fixtures against Dempo, will be crucial to determine which team goes down from this season’s I-League. If Salgaocar do miracoulusly escape relegation, Bikash Jairu and Scottish international Darryl Duffey have to be in top form for the remaining three games.They have been Salgaocar’s shining light in a season filled with despair.
Another team right in the relegation mix is Spoting Clube De Goa, Sporting made a real slow start to the season having just picked up 5 points from their opening 11 fixtures.Sporting were almost certain to go down, but Mateus Costa’s men have turned their season around having picked up 12 points from the last 6 games. Sporting picked up maximum points from Salgaocar FC, Bharat FC and Mcdowells Mohun Bagan climbing above Dempo in the League table. Sporting have to travel to Shillong and Kolkata to face Lajong and Mohun Bagan while returning to Goa to play their final fixture against Pune FC. Okolie Odafa returned to his fine scoring form against his former club Mohun Bagan and will be someone who has to paly at his best in the next three matches to steer Sporting Clube De Goa to safety. Anthony Wolfe and Victorino Fernandes have also been in good form this season and have to stay at their best for the remaining three fixtures.
Another team who have a chance of getting relegated are Mumbai FC, Mumbai FC are on 18 poinbts having played a game more than Dempo SC, Salgaocar and Sporting.If they fail to win any of their two matches there is a chance they might as well start next season in the I-League 2nd Division.There recent poor form, having picked up 6 points from their last 8 games have dragged them in the relegation dogfight.Although they are undefeated in their last 5 games they have drawn each and every one of them, dropping 10 points in the process. Mumbai FC have to face Kingfisher East Bengal FC and Bharat FC , in their remaining two games of the season and it is likely they will manage to stay in the I-League, however there is a chance of them being relegated.
A team that has an outside chance of getting relegated are Shilong based outfit, Shilong Lajong.While their city counterparts, Royal Wahingdoh have been a revelation this season, Lajong have failed to hit their stride and are struggling at 6th position in the table , just 3 points above Dempo, who are at the bottom of the table.A win would guarantee Shillong their status in the I-League however if Salgaocar, Dempo , Sporting and Mumbai FC all win and Shilong lajong lose all their remaining three matches , there is a chance Lajong may get relegated to the 2nd division I-League.
This has been a horrible season for all Goan clubs, last year Salgaocar, Dempo and Sporting finished 3rd , 4th and 5th respectively in the I-League. Whereas this season all of them are involved in the relegation battle , with one of them almost certain to go down to the 2nd division. Looking at all the fixtures for all the teams in the Relgation fight and based on current form, it looks most likely that Salgaocar or Dempo will get relegated.The relegation fight will in all certainity, like the title race go down to the wire. The final round of games will see Dempo visit Salgaocar, in what could decide the fate of all four teams involved in the Relegation battle.