2014-15 I-League Round 5: Welcome Back Mumbai to the I-League!
As you can gather from the title, this round will mark the return of the I-League to Mumbai. This is an amazing moment in I-League history as for the last few seasons Mumbai FC have played their home matches in Pune and due to that we have seen small crowds for all their games, essentially playing away from home for every game! Lets see how they do in their first "home" game of the season on Sunday.
First however, we start the round on Saturday with the two early games. Royal Wahingdoh will be hoping to return to winning ways against a Dempo who are coming off their first victory of the season against Sporting Goa. Royal Wahingdoh will have home field advantage here but that did not exactly help them in their last match against Bengaluru FC were they lost 4-0. At the same time, Salgaocar will be hosting East Bengal at the Fatorda Stadium. Both teams are coming off victories in their last games, Salgaocar against Sporting Goa and East Bengal against Shillong Lajong. Salgaocar could welcome back many players from injury for this one.
The day will conclude with Mohun Bagan playing only their third match of the season against Pune at the Salt Lake Stadium. Bagan have been okay in their first two games of the season, winning their opening match against Mumbai FC 3-1 before drawing Salgaocar away 0-0. Pune meanwhile are at the top of the table after winning their last three matches in a row against Bengaluru FC, Shillong Lajong, and Mumbai respectively. Much of this change can be attributed to new signing, Edgar Marcelino, who has played a part in all three of Pune's winning games.
Sunday will then be the day to remember for Mumbai FC who open their campaign at the Cooperage Ground against Sporting Goa. Mumbai will be hoping this first match in Mumbai can be the start of a change in their season in which they have played three and lost three. Sporting Goa meanwhile are not doing much better, losing their last two matches in a row. Mumbai FC will really need to take advantage of this game.
The round then concludes with the battle of the direct-entry teams! Bengaluru FC vs. Bharat FC! Bengaluru FC have started the season sloppy, only winning last week, while Bharat FC have not even won a game yet. Bengaluru FC should look to get their first home win here.
Saturday, 7 February 2015:
- Royal Wahingdoh vs. Dempo (16:30; Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium).
- Salgaocar vs. East Bengal (16:30; Fatorda Stadium).
- Mohun Bagan vs. Pune (19:00; Salt Lake Stadium).
Sunday, 8 February 2015:
- Mumbai FC vs. Sporting Goa (16:30; Cooperage Ground).
- Bengaluru FC vs. Bharat FC (19:00; Sree Kanteerava Stadium).
Bye: Shillong Lajong.