Kamis, 10 Maret 2011

I-League - Round 18: Title race heats up

The eighteenth Round of matches of the I-League 2010/11 were played from March 8, 9 & 10 across India with the match between Indian Arrows and Salgaocar SC to be played in May.

Round 18 Match by Match Short Review
09-Mar-2011: East Bengal Club 3-0 (1-0) JCT (in Kolkata)
Federation Cup champions East Bengal Club returned to winning ways with a fluent 3-0 win against JCT at the Saltlake Stadium. This was mainly possible as the team welcomed back defender Uga Okpara plus midfielders Mehtab Hussain and Penn Ikechukwu Orji. This gave the red-and-gold much needed stability and creativity. Striker Baljit Singh Sahni scored on both sides of the break, once off a pass from Sanju Pradhan and the other from Penn Orji. The third East Bengal goal came of a nice Ravinder Singh strike.

08-Mar-2011: HAL, Bangalore 0-1 (0-1) Viva Kerala (in Bangalore)
Bangalore's HAL suffered an unexpected home loss to Viva Kerala in the I-League. The only goal of the match was scored by a long-ranger from Indian international striker N.P. Pradeep with Viva further chances to score in the match.

15-May-2011: Indian Arrows 1-3 (0-1) Salgaocar SC (in Gurgaon)
Salgaocar SC returned to winning ways with a 3-1 away win against the Indian Arrows in their postponed Round 18 match. The Goans are now top of the league again with 50 points from 24 matches, while the Indian Arrows stay on 26 points from 25 matches.
Initially it was the Arrows who put pressure on Salgaocar, but against the run of play the Goans took a 22th minute lead through their Japanese recruit Ryuji Sueoka. 10 minutes later the Arrows got a golden opportunity to equalise, but Lalrindika Ralte blasted his shot over the goal after he himself had been brought down. It was Ryuji Sueoka again who doubled the lead i the 63rd minute, but the Arrows stayed in the game when Holicharan Narzary reduced the deficit in the 80th minute, but a Cajetan Fernandes header a minute from time ensured Salgocar would take home the three points.

09-Mar-2011: Churchill Brothers SC 3-1 (1-0) Mumbai FC (in Goa)
Churchill Brothers SC won 3-1 against Mumbai FC though the club played without their coach Vincent Subramanian, who resigned a few days ago. But it didn't affect the Goans who got an early lead through Odafe Onyeka Okolie's penalty. Substitute Kayne Vincent gave the a confortable 2-0 second half lead before MFC's Ezeh Nna Henry would reduce the deficit, but Kayne would score again in injury time to confirm a 3-1 win for Churchill Brothers SC.

10-Mar-2011: Dempo SC 4-1 (-) Mohun Bagan AC (in Goa)
I-League champions Dempo SC thrashed Mohun Bagan AC 4-1 at home in a game which they could have won by an even bigger margin. Climax Lawrence gave the Goans a 27th minute lead which was doubled by Clifford Miranda only three minutes later. Ranty Martins Soleye sealed the match in the 47th minute with Dempo's third as Mohun Bagan at this stage looked vulnerable to concede a few more, but Dempo would only score once more through Clifford while Subair Muritala Ali reduced the deficit in the last minute of the game.

09-Mar-2011: ONGC 1-2 (0-1) Air India (in Kolhapur)
In a battle of survival between two Mumbai side the Airmen beat the Oilmen 2-1 in Kolhapur. Former international Manjit Singh gave the Airmen an early sixth minute lead and it stayed this way until the break. ONGC's Badmus Babathunde would equalise in the 53rd minute, but Allan Dias would give Air India the lead again in the 66th minute and it would remain this way until the end.

08-Mar-2011: Chirag United SC 1-0 (1-0) Pune FC (in Kolkata)
Shankar Oraon made a hero's return for Chirag United SC as he scored the lone goal winner in the gave against Pune FC. The Bengal youngster had been out for about six months and his goal of Josimar's pass gave the men in purple a much needed win to move them back into the top six and clear of the relegation battle, while Pune FC stay only five points clear of the relegation zone.

Click here for the 4th I-League 2010/11 - League Table & Fixtures .

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