I-League : Team of Round-13
There was a major upset yet again as East Bengal were defeated, while Mohun Bagan and Bengaluru FC dropped points. Our team of the round is dominated by four players from Churchill Brothers. Here is the team of Round 13...
Naveen Kumar (Churchill Brothers)
Churchill Brothers’ second Kolkata scalp in a week came thanks to a splendid performance between the sticks by Naveen Kumar. The Hoshiarpur-born custodian initially denied Willis Plaza from almost point blank range immediately after the Trinidad and Tobago International’s introduction. Made another wonderful save from almost the same spot, this time off Nikhil Poojary. Withstood the aerial threat posed by the likes of Robin Singh and Chris Payne to lead his side to a victory.
Pritam Kotal (Mohun Bagan)
One of Mohun Bagan’s key contributors and consistent performers, Pritam Kotal resumed the Mariners’ title hunt with an opening goal against Mumbai FC. The young right-back was at the right place right time to stab home Yusa Katsumi’s flick-on from a corner to give his side the lead. Was helpless with Thoi Singh’s equalizer as his marker scored within a flash off a deflected shot.
Nimdorjee Tamang (Shillong Lajong)
Shillong Lajong’s defensive rock Nimdorjee Tamang was in inspired form as the Reds continued to rise in the table. Did excellently well to stifle the threat of Nigerian Kareem Nurain, and was deservedly voted as the Hero Of The Match.
Eze Kingsley Obumneme (Aizawl FC)
A candidate for season’s finest central defender, Eze Kingsley Obumneme continued his peerless display at the back for Aizawl FC, helping Khalid Jamil’s side to yet another clean sheet. Combined well with Zotea to thwart a feeble DSK Shivajians attack, displaying his physical prowess at times.
Seriton Fernandes (Churchill Brothers)
After assisting Antony Wolfe’s opener against Mohun Bagan with a brilliant lob, Seriton Fernandes put in yet another spirited display at left-back against East Bengal for the rejuvenated Churchill Brothers. Had to deal with the pace and trickery of Nikhil Poojary initially, and Willis Plaza at times when the striker switched play. But the Goan was up to the task against the best as Derrick Pereira’s side caused another upset.
Bipin Singh (Shillong Lajong)
21-year-old Bipin Singh was a constant threat down the left wing for visitors Shillong Lajong . And it was perhaps unsurprising that both the goals came from the left wing where the Manipur-born nippy winger was playing. Sent in two beautiful crosses for each of Samuel Lalmuanpuia and Fabio Pena to head home.
Laldanmawia Ralte (Aizawl FC)
The astonishing story of Aizawl FC and their young guns continued , as they reached the summit of the I-League charts. Young Laldanmawia Ralte was the hero with a goal right at the death to secure 3 vital points for his side. Seems to be excelling under the tutelage of Syrian midfielder Mahmoud Al Amenah alongside him. Intelligently finished off Lalmuankima’s cutback after arriving late in the box.
Thoi Singh (Mumbai FC)
Mumbai FC were denied their first win in 10 games after an unfortunate late goal. But it was not before Thoi Singh and his teammates made the Mariners work for a solitary point. Ran tirelessly like he always does. Cleverly steered home Pratesh Shirodkar’s shot from outside the box to restore parity for his side.
Sony Norde (Mohun Bagan)
Mohun Bagan’s star man Sony Norde seems to be getting back to his own self with each passing game. Was the only man from the Mariners’ side that showed real intent of a comeback after being pegged back by two goals. His hard work paid off when Balwant Singh headed home his cross which came as a result of some excellent work down the left. The goal saved Bagan’s blushes as they had to be content with a single point against a poor Mumbai FC side.
Anthony Wolfe (Churchill Brothers)
Arguably league’s finest performers when it comes against the big boys, Anthony Wolfe yet again was the architect behind a big scalp. Toyed with East Bengal’s defence for the majority of the game. Opened the scoring to shock the hosts. Set up strike partner Ansumana Kromah with a delightful through ball that left Anwar Ali and Ivan Bukenya ball watching.
Ansumana Kromah (Churchill Brothers)
While veteran Anthony Wolfe dropped deep and dictated play, young Liberian Ansumana Kromah’s off the ball movement wrecked havoc in the East Bengal defence. Cunningly evaded the centre-halves to receive Wolfe’s through ball, displaying expertise when he rounded off TP Rehenesh to complete his goal.
BENCH: Laxmikant Kattimani, Adil Khan, Dharmaraj Ravanan, Richard Costa, Udanta Singh, Lalmuankima, Samuel Lalmuanpuia.