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Notes from the I-League 2020-21 [Round 9]

I-League 2020-21 Round 9
Floored: Ngangom Ronald celebrates scoring the 4th goal for Gokulam Kerala against Indian Arrows.
Picture Courtesy: Gokulam Kerala FC

Yan Law wins the Yan Law Derby prompting Mohammedan to sack their coach.. Meanwhile, the mid-table is getting crowded.

Also, Songpu Singsit hits the right note as a backup.

Mohammedan fires coach after losing to the previous coach

The 3-0 loss in the Yan Law derby saw Mohammedan Sporting  part ways with their head coach Jose Hevia.

Midway through the I-League qualifiers, Mohammedan had sacked Yan Law. Aizawl FC snapped up the the young coach and when the two teams faced each other in Round Nine, it was a one-way street.

A wonderfully taken free kick by Malsawmtluanga set the tone for the match as Aizawl played the Black Panthers off the park. Two goals in quick succession in the second half capped off a sublime 3-0 win to leap back into the top half of the table.

As for the Kolkata outfit, well, they always find new ways to shoot themselves on the foot.

It’s tight in the middle

Two points separate the teams from 6th to 10th place. TRAU, Mohammedan, Sudeva, Chennai City, and NEROCA will vie for a spot in the top 6.

TRAU is expected to take three points against Indian Arrows before facing Sudeva. Gokulam is the other opponent for Sudeva, so that’s two tough outings for the team from Delhi.

The result of the Mohammedan-Chennai City match will determine the fate of both teams as the Kolkata team will face Real Kashmir in Round 11, while Chennai City face Aizawl.

NEROCA has the toughest assignment as they face the top two teams in Churchill Brothers and Punjab FC.

It’s wide open at the moment and there may be more surprises along the way.

Northern teams slug it out

The top of the table clash between RoundGlass™ Punjab FC and Real Kashmir lived up to its billing. Things really kicked off after the hour mark when Punjab’s Chencho Gyeltshen (aka CG7) lashed out at Kashmir’s Haroon Amiri (aka Zohib Islam Amiri). A scuffle ensued – handbags mostly and the referee sent both players off.

10 v 10 , the match opened up and soon enough RoundGlass™ Punjab was awarded with a penalty. Joseba Beitia stepped up, sent the keeper the wrong way, but was recalled by the referee owing to infringement. The Spaniard chose the same spot, the keeper guessed right, but could not stop the shot. 1-0 to Punjab.

At the other end, Didika Ralte’s spectacular overhead kick crashed into the RoundGlass™ Punjab crossbar. The very next minute Dipanda Dicka tapped in the equalizer. 1-1 it remained till the end.

The result paved the way for Churchill Brothers to regain the top spot with their last minute goal over Chennai City.

We love the Irish and Scots in the I-League

Coaches come and go. Let’s take a moment to appreciate the conduct of the good ones in the I-League.

Yes, it’s David Robertson and Curtis Fleming again and the duo is seen praising their players and spreading positive vibes at every opportunity.

Take a listen to them after the encounter between Real Kashmir and Punjab FC. 

Here is the Aberdeen native, David Robertson and here is the Dublin-raised, Curtis Fleming.

Isn’t it refreshing? These men are proper coaches and they do not make it about themselves. May they be the example for future  more success in the country.

The Goal Scoring Ratio

It was honors even with regards to the goal-scoring as the foreign recruits and the Indian players netted seven goals each.

Luka Majcen’s brace propelled him to the top of the goal scoring charts alongside his teammate Clayvin Zuniga.

NEROCA’s Songpu Singsit leads the goal scoring charts among Indian players with his three goals. The Manipuri winger has had a major impact as a substitute for Gift Raikhan’s side.

The overall tally after round nine looks like this:

Foreign players – 57
Indian players – 50
Own goals – 3

Bonus: Here’s a great video from the sidelines as NEROCA’s goalkeeper, Bishorjit, denied Sudeva’s Kean Lewis from the spot.

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