I-League Team of Round-5
Round -5 of the I-League witnessed fantastic performances from teams considered minnows in the competition. While Churchill Brothers upset holders Bengaluru FC, DSK Shivajians yet again came up with another superlative display and held the then leaders Mohun Bagan to a goalless draw. Chennai City ended Aizawl FC's golden run in the league as Shillong Lajong also continued their dominance at home. Meanwhile East Bengal bulldozed Minerva Punjab to leap up to the top of the table.
Here is our Team of Round-5, which is dominated Shillong Lajong, DSK Shivajians and Churchill Brother.
Soram Anganba (DSK Shivajians)
Veteran Subrata Pal’s absence has helped young Soram Anganba a lot. After a brilliant last season with Aizawl FC, the 24-year-old has continued his good form between the sticks for DSK Shivajians. , he helped his side shut gates against leaders Mohun Bagan. The Shivajians’ defence did well to contain the powerful Mariners attack, while Soram made sure he was on hand to control things when the defence couldn’t. Most notably denied Yusa Katsumi’s drive from inside the box late on, and also Sony Norde’s near post effort to preserve the clean sheet.
Nirmal Chhetri (DSK Shivajians):
Nirmal Chhetri was instrumental in shutting Mohun Bagan’s best creative source in Sony Norde. Was quick to close down the Haitian before he could cut on to his right for a shot or a cross. Norde cut a frustrated figure late on, much to the delight of Dave Rogers and co.
Adil Khan (Churchill Brothers)
After their maiden point in the previous game, Churchill Brothers bagged all three causing a major upset against Bengaluru FC. Although the result was down to the individual brilliance of Anthony Wolfe in attack, it was the heart of the defence that made sure they were impervious. Adil Khan along with Rowilson Rodrigues allowed negligible little to the holders’ attack. Adil Khan built on his goalscoring performance against DSK Shivajians with a defensive masterclass against the Blues.
Chinglensana Singh (Shillong Lajong)
Shillong Lajong look to have finally found their rhythm and winning formula. Thangboi Singto’s charges made light work of an in-form Mumbai FC side with a 3-1 win. Despite the absence of the experienced Dan Ignat, 20-year-old Chinglensana Singh marshaled the defence well. Scored a goal of his own with a neat turn and volley in the box after Mumbai failed to clear a corner.
Jerry Lalrinzuala (DSK Shivajians)
Teenager Jerry Lalrinzuala’s ISL exploits with Chennaiyin FC have warranted a starting berth in Dave Rogers’ DSK setup. Kim Seong Yong was fed by the 18-year-old’s lovely lob only for the South Koren to see his shot saved by Debjit Majumder. Kept his attacking instincts in-check to help out his defence and also earn a clean sheet.
Chesterpoul Lyngdoh (Churchill Brothers)
Making only his third I-League appearance, Chesterpoul Lyngdoh was adjudged the Hero Of The Match against Bengaluru FC for his scintillating performance. The on-loan FC Pune City youngster was difficult to contain for the Blues’ high-line, and broke forward on the counter time and again. Showed immense maturity and composure to finish off a one vs one against Amrinder Singh in the Bengaluru goal. It turned out to be the winner.
Isaac Vanmalswama (Shillong Lajong)
Another young gem at Singto’s disposal, Isaac Vanmalswama has been making waves in Shillong’s midfield. His quality performances have coincided with the Reds’ two wins on the trot. He was excellent in the last game against Minerva Punjab, and again dominated midfield proceedings with Yuta Kinowaki and Rupert Nongrum. Swung in a beautiful free-kick which Aser Dipanda headed home effortlessly. Was unlucky not to get himself off the scoresheet after his volley ricocheted off the crossbar. Came off ten minutes from time for a deserved huge round of applause from the home crowd.
Lalrindika Ralte (East Bengal)
East Bengal captain Lalrindika Ralte was a constant threat from set-pieces against Minerva Punjab. Infact, it was his chipped free-kick through which Wedson Anselme scored the first goal thus opening the floodgates. Didika cheekily tried to beat the goalkeeper directly from a corner, but it came off the woodwork.
Wedson Anselme (East Bengal)
Wedson Anselme has come under criticism of late for his poor performances and selfish play. But the Haitian proved doubters wrong with an esxcellent hattrick against Minerva Punjab. Playing at the tip of the diamond behind Robin Singh and Willis Plaza, the trio wrecked havoc in tandem to destroy the Minerva defence, with all three getting on the scoresheet.
Anthony Wolfe (Churchill Brothers)
Anthony Wolfe demonstrated why he was brought back to his old stomping ground. The Trinidadian was absolutely unplayable against Bengaluru defence as they kept chasing the 33-year-old’s shadows. He was smart with his hold up play, bringing his teammates into the game. Time and again exploited the gaps between the Blues’ defence with precisely threaded through balls which Chesterpoul Lyngdoh and Surabuddin Mollick benefited from. Lyngdoh scored from one such through balls, to give his side the lead after Wolfe had initially restored parity.
Aser Dipanda (Shillong Lajong)
Aser Dipanda was DSK Shivajians’ only bright spot in an otherwise unsuccessful last season. The Cameroonian netted seven times for the Pune side, and Singto was smart in picking the 27-year-old. After Shillong’s early slump, the Reds are back to winning ways, with Dipanda scoring three in two. Dicka netted a double against a well organized Mumbai defence; first a header to open the scoring, a brilliant curling effort to double his and his sides’ lead.
BENCH: Priyant Singh, Rowilson Rodrigues, Rahul Bheke, Yuta Kinowaki, Prasanth Karuthadathkuni, Marcos Vinicius ‘Tank’, Willis Plaza.