Federation Cup Summary After 6 Games

Wednesday, 10 May 2017|Satyaki Das
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THE FAVORITES
Midway through the Federation Cup group stage, three teams are looking mighty impressive. Bengaluru FC has found their gears finally and notched 5 wins in a row in the domestic circuit. Aizawl FC is continuing on their momentum of the i-League and is the first team to reach the last four. Like all good teams, they are showing monumental willingness to win and are finding ways past opposition. Half the battle of the game is in mind and they are riding high on confidence. Mohun Bagan has managed to shed their disappointment of being edged out by tiniest of margin, and looks to be in good shape. These three are now firm favorites; though much will depend on the pivotal game between Lajong and Mohun Bagan tomorrow.

THE DARK HORSES
In its own way, East Bengal’s transition brought some improvement to their playing style. Since the new regime took over, they are now 3W and 1D in 4 games. The team literally delivered the i-League on a platter and at one point it was for them to lose, and they lost it. Aizawl game will give a definitive indication of how far they transformed. Churchill Brothers are by far the most improved side since the first leg of the league. In the second leg, they were quite impressive and they are showing good fighting spirit; though their destiny is now dependent on the outcome of the Aizawl vs. East Bengal game. Lajong is another team to watch out for; they will play their defining game against Mohun Bagan later in the day.

DOWN AND OUT
Chennai City FC became the first team to bow out of the competition. They will rue blowing a two goal lead in their first match against Aizawl. DSK Shivajians look a pale shadow of their impressive squad. They leaked 15 goals in their last three games and will be wary of their whopping 7-0 loss when they meet BFC tomorrow.

Thus far, results are on expected lines, but that can soon take a U-turn in next two days.

Conservation (of energy) and effective rotation is going to be the key. Overall, Federation Cup is seeing more goals (3.5 per match), than i-League (2.5 per match). A massive 33% (a third) of the goals are being scored in the last 15 minutes – substitutes may be pivotal. Alternate day games are likely to start affecting after tomorrow. Semifinal may possibly turn into a tactical battleground than skill.

PATH AHEAD FOR EAST BENGAL
A win in the next game against Aizawl FC will see East Bengal topping Group A. A draw will mean a second place qualification. A loss will mean that calculators will be needed, provided Churchill Brothers beat Chennai City FC in expected lines.