I-League : Lesser Discussed Facts at the End of Round 11
I-League is running in full gear with some fantastic matches and performances being witnessed over the season. Here are some lesser discussed facts at the end of Round 11
1. OLD HABIT DIE HARD – Mumbai FC is back in their own stratosphere. They have been known for their resolute defending. They have now played three consecutive goalless draws against Mohun Bagan, Bengaluru FC and Minerva. The person manning the score board is contemplating a vacation.
2. THE TURNAROUND AND IMPROVEMENT STORY – Minerva FC has really turned the corners. After being battered in first 5 rounds, in which they secured only one point, Minerva FC scored points in each of the last 6, earning 10 points. This is just a tad less than Aizawl or Lajong, who secured 13 points from last 6 rounds.
3. INHERITOR OF COURTNEY WALSH’S SCORING BAT – Chennai FC, who is yet to open their account in Away game. Played and lost all five so far; and glaringly, yet to score in an away game. They are currently at the bottom of the rung; and interestingly the fish will be in the aquarium for all three rounds before the March break [DSK, BFC and EB]. Post break, their all remaining games will be out of water. It remains to be seen how much they can get before break; for this is their last chance to get out of the last place.
4. MIDAS TOUCH – Derrick Pereira’s taking over of Churchill Brothers has finally brought spring in the Reds. They lost the first game in a high scoring contest (4-5) but pulled off a creditable 3-0 over DSK. The Red’s second win pulls them out of the last place. And consider this: 7 goals scored in 2 games after change of guard; as compared to 4 in first 9 games.
5. IN SEARCH OF GEAR – DSK started their 5-game away streak with a bang; beating Lajong. Thereafter, a goalless draw against Minerva and consecutive losses to Mohun Bagan and Churchill means that they are back in Bottom 4; with Minerva overtaking them. They still have a game in Chennai, before they are back at home.
6. OVERALL – The number of draws increased significantly since R8. We saw 9 off 19 games end in stalemate. Wins away from home is still few – only 10 away wins off 53 games, of which East Bengal recorded 4. No other team won more than one away game; with BFC, Churchill and Chennai still waiting to win their first game away from their den. Schedule is going to play a major role as we approach the last-third of the league. Off the leaders – here is a home-away split of games in hand: MB – 4/5; EB – 3/4, Aizawl – 2/5, Lajong – 4/4, BFC – 4/4. Off the top of the table games (playing amongst top 5), games left – MB – 5; EB – 2; Aizawl – 3; Lajong – 4; BFC – 4.