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I-League 2018/19 Roundup: Matchday 13 [08/01-13/01]

Piggybacking on their success: Goalscorers Willis Plaza and Dawda Ceesay celebrate the winning goal against Gokulam Kerala in Round 12 of the I-League. Photo Courtesy: @ILeagueOfficial
Piggybacking on their success: Goalscorers Willis Plaza and Dawda Ceesay of Churchill Brothers FC celebrate the winning goal against Gokulam Kerala FC in Round 12 of the I-League. Photo Courtesy: @ILeagueOfficial

Churchill Brothers FC striker, Willis Plaza continues to top the scoring charts of the 2018/19 I-League season with two goals in the 3-1 win over Gokulam Kerala. Sony Norde helped Mohun Bagan AC win both their matches, while East Bengal FC picked up 3 points in an ill-tempered match against Indian Arrows.

Real Kashmir FC and NEROCA FC missed out on catching up with Chennai City FC at the top of the table.

Plaza double helps Churchill beat Gokulam

FULL-TIME: Churchill Brother FC 3- 1 Gokulam Kerala FC

CHURCHILL BROTHERS: Willis Plaza (56′,91′); GOKULAM KERALA: Marcus Joseph (14′)

Churchill Brothers moved to the second place with a 3-1 win over Gokulam Kerala FC at the Tilak Maidan Stadium.

Gokulam’s latest recruit, Marcus Joseph who was brought in place of Nigerian Joel Sunday, scored on debut to give the visitors the lead in the 14th minute. A long-range strike was hit straight at Kithan. The goalkeeper let the ball slip through his legs.

After the shocker, Churchill upped the tempo. In the 18th minute, Willis Plaza got a chance to equalize after a defensive mix-up leaving the goal wide open. The league’s top scorer shot wide.

However, the equalizer was scored in the 37th minute by Dawda Ceesay. Richard Costa ran through the Gokulam midfield and laid off a pass to Ceesay. A left-footed strike across Das Sharma from just inside the box on the left..

In the second half, Churchill piled on the pressure and took the lead in the 56th minute. Willis Plaza struck his 10th goal of the campaign, clinically finishing off a from the right by Chesterpaul Lyngdoh, with a left-footed volley.

Plaza put the game to bed in the first minute of injury time with a solo effort which took on the entire Gokulam defense before stabbing the ball home to help Churchill collect all three points..

Churchill is on second spot with 22 points, while Gokulam suffered their fourth consecutive loss and find themselves stuck on the eighth spot with 10 points.

Khalid Jamil off to a winning start as Mohun Bagan beats Minerva

FULL-TIME: Mohun Bagan AC 2- 0 Minerva Punjab FC

MOHUN BAGAN: Omar El Hussieny (30′ [P]); Dipanda Dicka (69′)

Mohun Bagan’s new coach, Khalid Jamil, was off to a winning start, as the Mariners beat defending champions Minerva Punjab 2-0 at the Salt Lake Stadium, Kolkata.

Following the resignation of Shankarlal Chakraborty, after back-to-back defeats, the Kolkata giant started the match on the front foot. The home team had a penalty shout turned down in the 20th minute when Lancine Toure appeared to have brought down Dipanda Dicka in the box. The referee turned down the pleas of the Bagan players.

Nine minutes later, Lancine Toure charged into Dicka inside the box again. This time the referee deemed it to be a foul. Omar El Hussieny stepped up and sent Minerva goalkeeper Bhaskar Roy the wrong way. 1-0 Mohun Bagan after 30 minutes.

Minerva did not have a shot at goal in the first half and continued to struggle after the break.

Bagan’s domination was complete in the 69th minute. Sony Norde collected the ball in the midfield and drew in three Minerva players towards him. He slipped the ball to Dicka who beat the offside trap and calmly slotted the ball past the goalkeeper to make it 2-0.

The win took Mohun Bagan’s tally to 18 points, while Minerva Punjab are at 13 points with the title defense looking increasingly unlikely.

Click here for highlights of the match.

East Bengal huff and puff to blunt Arrows

FULL-TIME: Indian Arrows 1- 2 East Bengal FC

INDIAN ARROWS: Ninthoinganba Meitei (90′ [P]); EAST BENGAL: Laldanmawia (26′); Jobby Justin (64′)

East Bengal beat Indian Arrows 2-1 in a hard-fought I-League match to remain in contention for the title at the Kalinga Stadium, Bhubaneshwar.

The away team shot into the lead in the 26th minute. Jaime Santos lobbed in a pass from the left flank into the Arrows box and Laldanmaiwa arrived late into the box and placed his left-footed shot past the keeper, Prabhsukhan Gill, to give his team the lead.

Four minutes later, East Bengal was awarded a penalty. Laldanmaiwa’s long range effort was parried by Gill. Laldanmaiwa had a second bite of the cherry, but was fouled by Jitendra Singh. Didicka stepped up to the spot but his effort was saved by Gill.

The second half took a physical turn. East Bengal’s Lalram Chullova was shown the red card for headbutting Rahul Praveen.

The 10-man team doubled their lead in the 64th minute. Debutant Antonio Dovale sliced open Arrows’ defense with a lobbed long ball to find Samad Ali. The substitute’s shot was parried by Gill, but Jobby Justin latched on the rebound to make it 2-0.

Arrows subbed in Aniket Jadhav in the 78th minute. The substitute had an eventful six minutes. First, he lashed out at Kasim Aidara off the ball to earn a yellow card. A minute later he proceeded to clip Samad from behind to get his second yellow card.

In the 89th minute, the Arrows team was awarded a penalty, courtesy a foul on Ashish Rai by East Bengal’s Manoj Mohammad.

Ninthoinganba Meitei stepped up to make it 2-1, but the experienced members of the East Bengal team held on to the win.

With the win, East Bengal’s points tally went up to 19 points from 10 matches. Indian Arrows had collected 10 points.

Click here for the highlights of the match.

Sony Norde special as Mohun Bagan beats NEROCA

FULL-TIME: Mohun Bagan AC 1- 0 NEROCA FC

MOHUN BAGAN: Sony Norde (79′)

Sony Norde’s solo effort helped Mohun Bagan AC beat NEROCA FC at the Salt Lake Stadium.

Mohun Bagan made early inroads into the NEROCA penalty area but could not make the advantage count.

The hosts had custodian Shilton Paul to keep the visitors from taking the lead as Subhash Singh’s snapshot brought out the best from the goalie in the 26th minute Seven minutes later Malem Meitei saw his effort miss the target by inches.

In the second half, the Bagan goalie was lucky to have escaped a red card in the 52nd minute. the Bagan goalie appeared to have punched former team-mate Katsumi Yusa inside the penalty box. However, the incident went unnoticed by the referee.

In the 60th minute, Dipanda Dicka latched on to a through ball from Norde. The Bagan forward rounded off the keeper but Lalit Thapa thwarted the Cameroonian on the follow up.

Sony Norde came up with the winner in the 79th minute when a solo run into the heart of the NEROCA defense. The NEROCA defenders failed to close down the Haitian and the winger curled the ball past the outstretched hands of Thapa.

With their second win of the week, Mohun Bagan climbed past archrivals East Bengal to fifth spot with 21 points. However, NEROCA was denied an opportunity to join Chennai City at the top of the table. They remain in fourth place with 21 points.

Click here to watch the highlights of the match.

Stalemate between Aizawl and Gokulam

FULL-TIME: Aizawl FC 0- 0 Gokulam Kerala FC

Real Kashmir FC continued their unbeaten run on the road after a scoreless draw against Aizawl FC at the Rajiv Gandhi Stadium, Aizawl.

Aizawl took to the field under the stewardship of their new coach Stanley Rozario. He replaced Gift Raikhan, who had resigned after 1-0 loss against Indian Arrows.

The match was attritional at best, with the home team unable to find a way past the Kashmir defense.

The hosts did fashion the first chance of the match. Remsanga shot over the crossbar after Aaron Katebe misguided his header.

In absence of Gnohere Krizo, Real Kashmir was led by Kofi Tetteh up front. The Ghanian had a chance to put his team up front after he rounded up the Aizawl goalie, but could not hit the target.

The away team led more attacks in the second half. Surchandra Singh’s shot from outside was blocked by Kassaga, while Gurpreet made an acrobatic save off Danish Farooq’s curling effort.

At the end of 90 minutes, the two teams had to share the spoils and accept the draw.

With this result, Real Kashmir FC is on 22 points in third place. Meanwhile, Aizawl are on 10 points.

I-League Matchday 13
Battle of the Young Guns: Ashish Rai from
Indian Arrows in action against Shillong Lajong FC. Photo Courtesy: @ILeagueOfficial

Arrows pile more misery on Lajong

FULL-TIME: Shillong Lajong FC 0- 3 Indian Arrows

INDIAN ARROWS: Vikram Pratap (18′); Lalengmawia (32′); Ninthoinganba Meitei (45+2′)

Shillong Lajong FC relegation from the I-League looks imminent following a 0-3 loss to Indian Arrows at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, Shillong.

In the battle of the youngsters, the Indian Arrows fired the first salvo as Ashish Rai made an excellent run on the right flank. Vikram Pratap’s looping header found its way past the Lajong keeper Chalieu. 1-0 to Arrows in the 18th minute.

Vikram Pratap was involved in the second goal when Indian Arrows doubled their lead in the 32nd minute. Lalengmawia collected the pass and smashed in the goal from the edge of the box to give his team a two-goal lead in the game.

The match was essentially over in first half injury time. A Lalengmawia shot was saved by Lajong keeper Neithoville Chalieu, however, the rebound fell kindly for Ninthoi, who scored his second goal of the week.

3-0 to the visitors at the half time break.

The second half began with Lajong introducing Phrangki Buam into the attack. The hosts threatened to score on occasions but the Arrows defense stood firm to maintain the clean sheet.

The win takes Arrows to 13 points, while Lajong is stuck on 4 points after their tenth defeat of the season.

Click here to watch the highlights of the match.

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