It was yet another marvellous match week in the I-League which saw Mohammedan topping the table along with Delhi and Inter Kashi finding their winning boots. Shillong Lajong continued their unbeaten run and Real Kashmir extended their clean sheet tally. Former champions Gokulam Kerala are having a dilemma of losing points for fun which made this match week more interesting and exciting.
Let’s read more about each match that happened over the week.
Delhi FC crawl their way back to winning ways
Delhi FC has put up an astounding piece of courage to fight back their way to a win against the Goan side Churchill Brothers FC. Delhi lined up in an attacking 4-3-3 formation and the Red Machines rallied up in a 5-3-2 formation. Churchill took the lead in the 24th minute from the goal of the Uruguayan Martin Chaves. But, Delhi had the heart to find their way back to an equalizer goal from Sergio Barbosa just two minutes into the second half.
Luck was in favour of Delhi as their aggressiveness earned them 3 points from a lucky own goal conceded by Ponif Vaz in the 87th minute of the game. Delhi are now placed 7th on the table while Churchill are in 9th position both playing seven games each.
Inter Kashi dominates Neroca FC
It was the Jordan Lamela show for Inter Kashi against Neroca which earned them three points with a 3-1 victory placing them eighth on the table. It was a team effort that put Inter Kashi on the scoresheet in the 28th minute of the game from the combination of Spaniards Mario Barco and Lamela. Neroca attempted some futile chances to level the score but it was again Lamela with a low blow to the corner before half time, increasing the lead by two goals.
Neroca didn’t want to leave without a fight and their valiant efforts became fruitful in the 63rd minute giving them a trail to a goal by Sushil Meetei after a stunning goal-line clearance by the Inter Kashi defender Bijoy Varghese. The spirit of both teams was high on the cards with both teams opening up each other but it was Inter Kashi who sealed the deal from an imposing free kick by Jackichand Singh in the 93rd minute.
Goalless draw at Srinagar
It was a defensive fight between the Snow Leopards and Aizawl FC at the TRC Turf Ground in Srinagar. Ishfaq Ahmed’s side registered their fifth clean sheet of the season staying at third on the table while Aizawl picked up their first clean sheet of the season. Both teams were on a high note with goal fiesta games before this clash but this game ended as a goalless draw even after both teams attempted heroic efforts to acquire a win over the other.
Real Kashmir now sits on 3rd place in the table with 13 points while Aizawl are placed in the 6th position with 11 points grabbed from 7 games by both teams respectively.
Gokulam Kerala continues their winless run
Gokulam Kerala FC is on a three-game winless run after an impressive start to the campaign sitting at the top of the table during the inception stage of the league. Now, the real struggle has been their last two home games which ended up in goal-scoring draws. It was a fierce physical battle in the first half which ended in a breakthrough goal for Gokulam from Noufal P N who unleashed a stunning shot making the score 1-0.
But, things went down for the home team as they conceded two back-to-back goals before the first half where Namdhari took the lead. The home team took the risk in the second half which paved the way to level the score but it happened just because of a miraculous effort from Komron Tursonov from 35 yards out. Even if it was a fair result, the former champions have to find more balance in their footballing style to gain the lost dominance.
Shillong Lajong extends unbeaten streak from a last-minute goal
It was a game of two halves that resulted in a 1-1 draw filled with jubilant celebration from the Shillong Lajong side who extended their unbeaten run in the campaign. Rajasthan United took the early lead in the 9th minute by Richardson Kwaku Denzell from a powerful shot that ended up in the back of the net. Multiple chances came in the way of both teams – especially Rajasthan but they failed to extend their lead.
Lajong fought back bravely in the second half which bore fruit in the dying minutes of injury time when Daniel Goncalves calmly headed the ball into the net. It sparked another last-minute drama in this season’s I-League campaign and Lajong managed to find their place in fourth position just behind Real Kashmir. They are also the second team along with Mohammaden who are currently unbeaten in the league.
Mohammedan showed the real class over Sreenidi
Mohammedan SC have put up a scintillating display of fighting spirit to get past the challenge of Sreenidhi Deccan to unanimously fill their place at the top of the table with a 3-point margin. Mohammedan was clearly the dominating side in the first half. They broke the deadlock in the 37th minute of the game with a beautiful finish by Uzbek player Mirjalol Kasimov.
It was another instance of one-touch football which ended up as the second goal scored by Eddie Hernandez for the black and whites to make the scoreline 2-0. Sreenidi fought hard to tie the broken pieces and they indeed managed to score one from a penalty in the 85th minute. The day favoured Mohammedan as they desperately managed to hold on to their lead and take all three points.
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