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Notes from the I-League 2020-21 [Round 7 & 8]

I-League 2020-21 Round 7 & Round 8
The Indian Arrows players celebrate taking the lead over Mohammedan SC in the I-League.
Photo Courtesy: @ILeagueOfficial

Mukhi, the Teenage Boy Wonder

18-year-old Gourav Mukhi is in the Mohammedan SC squad as a 22-year-old. The reverse Benjamin Button was described as “happy” given that he is able apply for a driving license with both his birth certificates.

In 2018, Mukhi was touted to be the Indian Super League’s “youngest-ever goal-scorer” for Jamshedpur FC. His 16-year-old moustache raised eyebrows and the AIFF had to take action against the player.

It wasn’t the first time he was caught though, Mukhi was among five players who were deemed to be over-aged in a sub-junior level tournament in 2015.

Tursanov scores early – again

Komron Tursanov, the holder of the record of the fastest goal in I-League history, scored yet another early goal in TRAU’s match against Aizawl. His first two goals were scored in the 1st and 2nd minute. Now he has scored another one in the 5th minute.

All of the goals by the Tajikistan striker are in the list of top 5 fastest goals for this season.
The list looks like this:

  • Komron Tursanov (TRAU): 1’, 2’, & 5’ minutes
  • Luka Majcen (Churchill Brothers): 2’ minutes
  • Dennis Antwi (Gokulam Kerala): 3’ minutes.
Komron Tursanov I-League 2020-21

Of course, he had to go ahead and score a late goal in the match against Gokulam to mess up the absolutely pointless graph we had created.

Mohammedan SC adds attackers to their repertoire

Pedro Manzi, the top scorer of the I-League 2018-19 season signed for Mohammedan SC.

Manzi holds dual citizenship with Uruguayan and Spanish passports. Given that a 22-year-old teenager with two birth certificates is in the squad, he will fit right in.

The Black Panthers have misfired this season, having scored 5 goals in 7 matches. The former Chennai City FC forward is the third forward signed by Kolkata team – John Chidi and Azharuddin Mallick were signed before the start of the round seven.

Kashmir got the real attackers

Real Kashmir are unbeaten in the league with three wins and four draws. Known for their resolute defensive performances, the Snow Leopards have scored 14 goals in seven matches already. In contrast, they scored 16 goals in 16 matches last year.

The attack led by Aser Pierrick Dipanda and Lukman Adefemi up front, the lads from Srinagar have been an exciting prospect this season.

Their big test will come in the top of the table clash against Punjab FC in the next round. Punjab has struck form with three wins on the trot.

Hindi-Tibet bhai bhai

On a side note, Punjab FC’s goalkeeper Kiran Chemjong captains the Nepal national team. We’d love to see Real Kashmir play Tenzin Samdup, their reserve goalkeeper between the posts. Samdup represents Tibet’s national team and also teaches English to monks in the monasteries.

Indian Arrows actually win a football match

Mohammedan SC may have signed a trio of attackers, but they had come undone against Indian Arrows.

Having scored a single point in seven matches, the development team scored in the 26th minute off the head of Gurpanthjeet Singh and held onto the slender lead.

The Indian Arrows players looked like teenagers with a few members attempting to grow a moustache. The win is a huge boost as the Mohammedan squad is full of hardened professionals and teenagers with a full french beard. 

Mohammedan SC will have to dig deep in their next two matches against Aizawl and Chennai City – two teams who are a point behind them and vying to land a spot in the top half of the table

Racism raises it ugly head again

RoundGlass Punjab FC issued a statement urging the club’s fans to refrain from making unsavoury comments on social media platforms.

While there is no official mention of any particular incident, it is alleged that a key Punjab FC player was targeted with spiteful comments – some of which were allegedly racist in nature – on social media during and after the team’s encounter against Chennai City FC.

Punjab FC also released a comment from forward Chencho Gyeltshen. “Football is a beautiful game and should only spread love and equality. Anyone who indulges in discriminatory behaviour is not a true football fan,” said the Bhutanese.

The reality of racism in sport is the reality of racism in society. To kick racism out of football, some of these so-called keyboard warriors should be put in the middle of the pitch and get two-footed from behind. That’ll teach them some manners.

The Goal Scoring Ratio

The foreign recruits outscored the Indian players in the latest rounds of the I-League.

John Chidi scored on debut for Mohammedan SC as they finally won a match after four draws, while Senegalese striker, Papa Diawara, also found himself in the scoresheet with a brace on his debut for RoundGlass Punjab FC before scoring yet again in the match against Chennai City.

Lukman Adefemi’s hattrick against NEROCA propped him up in the goalscoring charts. The top 10 goalscorers in the league are foreign signings with Clayvin Zuniga leading the chart with his five goals for Churchill Brothers.

Here’s a goal worth watching again by NEROCA’s Songpu Singsit.

The overall tally after round seven looks like this:

Foreign players – 50
Indian players – 43
Own goals – 3

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