2014-15 I-League Round 8: The Battle for First!
As you can tell from the title, this round will be the battle for first place as both the current first place team, Royal Wahingdoh, and the second place team, Pune, take each other on in what will be expected to be an intense match. Match day hosts Pune will come into this match hoping to return to winning ways after drawing bottom dwellers Sporting Clube de Goa. Royal Wahingdoh will also hope to return to the winning section after losing away from home against home-dominant side Mumbai FC.
That match will be on Saturday, before that we will have two matches on Friday! First is Shillong Lajong facing off against Mohun Bagan. Lajong come into this match having defeated Dempo in Goa in the last match while Bagan will be coming off a fantastic result against last seasons champions with a 4-1 win over Bengaluru FC. Can Sony Norde produce the same performance away from home?
Later that night we will see a Maha derby without Pune FC as both Bharat FC and Mumbai FC take each other on in Pune. Bharat FC are coming off winning their first ever match last round against Salgaocar while Mumbai FC come to the stadium they once considered home after a tremendous home stretch at the Cooperage Ground.
The other Saturday game then will take place between bottom side Sporting Goa and last seasons champions, Bengaluru FC. As stated above, Bengaluru FC are coming off a big defeat against Bagan in the league but are also coming off an important victory in the AFC Cup against Maziya of Maldives. Can they take that momentum into this match against a Sporting Goa side that recently drew against in-form Pune? The match will take place at the Fatorda Stadium, a stadium Sporting Goa have never won in.
The final match of the round will occur on the first of March, Sunday, when Dempo host East Bengal. East Bengal will look to bounce back from a 4-1 defeat in Asian play over the week and also grab their first victory for new head coach Eelco Schattorie. Dempo meanwhile will play without their top player, Romeo Fernandes but they are used to playing without him.
Friday, 27 February 2015:
- Shillong Lajong vs. Mohun Bagan (16:30; Jewaharlal Nehru Stadium).
- Bharat FC vs. Mumbai (18:30; Balewadi Sports Stadium).
Saturday, 28 February 2015:
- Sporting Goa vs. Bengaluru FC (16:30; Fatorda Stadium).
- Pune vs. Royal Wahingdoh (19:00; Balewadi Sports Stadium).
Sunday, 1 March 2015:
- Dempo vs. East Bengal (19:00; Fatorda Stadium).