2013-14 I-League Round 14: When The Blues Go Marching In!!!
The fourteenth round of the 2013-14 I-League will be a quick and normal round this time. Not many major matches but still entertaining ones. The round will begin on Tuesday when United SC host fellow strugglers Dempo at the Salt Lake Stadium. United is currently dealing with many key injuries including there newcomer of the season, Eric Brown. Meanwhile Dempo is in a complete world of hurt at the moment as they have not won a match since the 6th of November. With rumors going on about who really is in charge at the club and questions being asked about the line-ups and tactics, the Goan club will desperately need a victory just to shut the critics up.
In the next match, relegation strugglers Churchill Brothers take on Shillong Lajong. Churchill Brothers will need to look at this match as a match to really take advantage of. A match at home against a mid-table side. Since a return from the international break Churchill Brothers have only won 1 of their 3 matches and the reigning champions will need a victory to take massive pressure off them and their coach, Mariano Dias. Lajong meanwhile could hope that they could have the services off all their foreigners this time. Despite winning their last match, the Shillong side had to still deal with playing with 1 foreigner as Cornell Glenn, Ulliams, and Min-Chol Son were no where on the team sheet.
On Wednesday we will see four matches being played. The first one is Mohun Bagan hosting Mumbai at the Kalyani Stadium. After winning two straight matches against two top sides in Pune and East Bengal, Mumbai FC will be hoping to make it three-out-of-three against Mohun Bagan. The club has found new strength in Ghanaian Yusif Yakubu, and also Indian internationals Mohammed Rafi and NP Pradeep. Mix those guys into the current Mumbai side and you have a decent team. As for Bagan, after a five game winnless streak, the club finally got back to winning ways against United with a mega 4-0 victory. New signing Christopher Chizoba scored 2 goals in the match as well as usual mega I-League striker Odafa Okolie. So now Mohun Bagan could say they hold a very dangerous attack and Mumbai will need to be up for it if they are to survive.
Meanwhile in Kolkata, Mohammedan will host the current leaders Bengaluru FC. Bengaluru FC is currently on a 3 match winning streak including a victory over the reigning I-League champions Churchill Brothers. They will take on a Mohammedan side who, despite not winning in 3 matches, have not given up a goal in four matches. This will be a tough task for a good attacking Bengaluru FC side.
Then, in Shillong, Rangdajied United will host Pune FC. Pune will be hoping to get back to winning ways going on a four game winless streak and seeing their undefeated home record come to an end at the hands of their arch rivals Mumbai FC. Rangdajied United seem to have a new lease on life now with the addition of a few IMG players including Subrata Pal, Gouramangi Singh, Tomba Singh, and Manandeep Singh providing a much needed relief for the newer I-League side. They won their first match away from home at Mohun Bagan and then recently lost only 2-1 to East Bengal so perhaps this can spearhead their confidence for the rest of the season onwards.
The final match of the round will see Salgaocar host East Bengal. Salgaocar are coming off a 4 game losing streak (including the Pune FC match which we should believe is now a 3-0 loss). It does not get easier as East Bengal, now under Armando Colaco, are now back to winning ways after a 2-1 victory over Rangdajied United. James Moga could be back for the red and gold so that will be a plus for them while Salgaocar will just be aiming to win a match.
So, how will this round play out. No matches this time for Sporting Goa who have a bye. Lets see, midweek fixtures can be very interesting.
Tuesday, 10 December 2013:
- United vs. Dempo (5:00 PM - Salt Lake Stadium).
- Churchill Brothers vs. Shillong Lajong (5:30 PM - Duler Stadium).
Wednesday, 11 December 2013:
- Mohun Bagan vs. Mumbai (1:45 PM - Kalyani Stadium).
- Mohammedan vs. Bengaluru FC (3:30 PM - Salt Lake Stadium).
- Rangdajied United vs. Pune (3:30 PM - Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium).
- Salgaocar vs. East Bengal (3:30 PM - Duler Stadium).
Bye: Sporting Goa.