Key Takeaways From I-League 2023/24 Matchweek 5


Matchday five of the 2023-24 I-League saw a great display of football from some of India’s best teams. The fifth match week of this season began with a goal fest as Delhi FC put on a brilliant performance to outclass Aizawl FC. Further, decent performances from the likes of Inter Kashi, NEROCA, and Mohammedan SC sent a wave of excitement among fans. A goal fest from Sreenidi Deccan was the perfect end to this brilliant week of Indian football action.

Delhi FC dominate Aizawl FC to secure 3 points away from home

After winning two consecutive games in their ongoing I-League campaign, Aizawl FC had the right momentum heading into their match against Delhi FC. Apart from a two-match win streak, another advantage Aizawl had was that they were playing this game on their home turf. However, when the 90 minutes between these two teams concluded, none of the advantages mattered as Delhi Football Club completely outclassed Aizawl to secure an important away win. 

Delhi’s Gaurav Rawat opened the scoring for his side when he scored a brilliant goal 14th minute of the game. Rawat further doubled the lead by scoring his second and giving Delhi a 2-0 lead in the 24th minute. While Aizawl did manage to score a goal back by the courtesy of R Lalthanmawia, it did not mean much as goals from Aroldo Arruda, Sergio Barboza, and Alaaeldin Elmagraby sealed an important 5-0 win for Delhi SC. 

Gayar Nikum’s heroics earn Inter Kashi an important win against Churchill Brothers

Inter Kashi celebrating a goal in their recent I-League match
Inter Kashi celebrating a goal in their recent I-League match

Inter Kashi showed resilience in the second game of Matchday 5, as they forged an incredible comeback against Churchill Brothers. The first half of this match belonged to Churchill as they managed to get the upper hand after Ricardo Dichiara put them ahead in the 38th minute. However, this lead did not matter much, as Inter Kashi fought back once the second half began. 

The team from Uttar Pradesh equalized the score in the 52nd minute due to a brilliant goal from veteran Jackichand Singh. But it was Gaykar Nikum, who was the hero of the match for Inter Kashi. After coming on as a substitute, Nikum scored a much more important goal in the 87th minute to seal a 2-1 victory for Kashi. With this win against the Goan team, Inter Kashi is now in fifth place on the table. They have managed to secure 7 points from 4 games in the ongoing season. 

Aniket Panchal leads NEROCA to a win against Namdhari FC 

The match between NEROCA FC and Namdhari FC was one of the most thrilling matches in the ongoing I-League season. Going into the game, NEROCA faced pressure as the team hadn’t won a single game in the current season. But, a goal from Sushil Metei in the 38th minute raised hopes for the team from Manipur. Unfortunately for NEROCA, Metei’s goal was met with a great response from Namdhari FC, who scored an equaliser in the second half. 

After Namdhari’s goal, the score was even, and many fans felt the match was heading towards a draw. However, Aniket Panchal’s goal in injury time earned NEROCA their much-needed first win this season. Now that the Manipur-based team has a win this season, they can build on it and try to improve their position in the league. Currently, NEROCA is placed in the ninth position, whereas Namdhari FC is in the eleventh position. 

Mohammedan SC move to first place after a thrilling victory against Rajasthan FC

Mohammedan SC are in first position in the I-League
Mohammedan SC are in first position in the I-League

Mohammedan SC has been in great form this season. In the five games they have played in the 2023-24 I-League, Mohammedan Sporting have won four and drawn one. The iconic team’s most recent victory came against Rajasthan FC at the Deccan Arena in Hyderabad. For Rajasthan, this game was just another addition to the poor games they have played this season. 

While Rajasthan started the game on a positive note and created several opportunities, they were able to finish none which led to a goalless first half. As the second half began, Mohammedan SC, who looked unsettled in the first half, broke the deadlock through a beautiful goal by Bikash Sagolsem. Later, Eddie Hernandez scored another goal to make it 2-0 for Mohammedan. While Rajasthan got a consolation goal in injury time, it meant nothing as Mohammedan won the match.

Gokulam Kerala faces its first defeat this season to Shillong Lajong 

On November 19th, 2023, Shillong Lajong showed Indian football fans how to make the best use of having a home advantage. Going into the game, Shillong hadn’t won a match in four outings. To make things worse, they faced Gokulam Kerala, who were undefeated in the 2023-24 I-League before they faced Shillong. Hence, considering the form of both teams before the game, not many gave Shillong a chance. 

However, what people thought did not matter as Shillong Lajong secured an early lead when Daniel Goncalves scored a lovely header from a set piece to give Shillong the lead. While Gokulam did manage to score an equalizer in the first half, their possible plan of playing for a draw went out of the window when Shillong got the lead as Renan Paulinho scored a brilliant penalty. Later, Hardy Nongbri scored a third goal for Lajong, which sealed the game for them. 

Sreenidi Deccan score five against TRAU

Sreenidi Deccan dominated TRAU
Sreenidi Deccan dominated TRAU

Tiddim Road Athletic Union, popularly known as TRAU, had a forgettable match against Sreenidi Deccan at the Kalyani Stadium in West Bengal on Sunday. While both teams created chances in the first half, Deccan ended on a high note with a 1-0 lead. However, the second half was all Sreenidi Deccan, as they dominated TRAU from start to finish. A brace from Jagdeep Singh and goals from Lalromawia and David Munoz led to Deccan winning the match 5-0. 

This game was a great display of Sreenidi Deccan’s attacking talent. But for TRAU, the game further highlighted their drawbacks this season. Tiddim Road Athletic Union hasn’t registered a single win in five games this season. Further, they have conceded 12 goals while scoring only one. Their inability to finish the chances they create is something the team will have to address before they face Churchill Brothers on November 22nd, 2023.

Follow IFTWC for more updates on Indian Football.

Varun Anand Bhat
Varun Anand Bhat
Varun Anand Bhat is a Sports Journalist with three years of experience under his belt. Throughout his career, Varun has covered several sports, but football remains his specialty. Having played the sport, Varun has the ability to analyze and write about games. He also has immense love and passion for Indian Football.

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