I-League stats: Talking points from Round 14

We look at the numbers behind the biggest headlines from Round 14 of the Hero I-League.

DSK Shivajians’ Juan Quero in action against Mumbai FC.   -  I-League Media

Big guns fail to seize the moment

The big teams in the I-League failed to make the maximum out of League leader Aizawl FC’s entertaining 2-2 draw against Minerva Punjab FC. Bengaluru FC endured yet another frustrating draw against 10-man Mohun Bagan while East Bengal was beaten by Chennai City.

Same old Bengaluru

Marjan Jugovic was brought in a solution for Bengaluru’s striking woes but the Serbian only started in the bench (along with BFC top scorer C.K. Vineeth) as Bengaluru failed to capitalise on its numerical advantage against rival Mohun Bagan.

 

As the numbers indicate, Bengaluru dominated the match, with the trio of Udanta Singh, Lenny Rodrigues and Eugeneson Lyngdoh linking well in the midfield. But resolute defending from The Mariners and careless finishing, a recurring theme now, hindered BFC’s attempt at clawing its way towards the top .

The unyielding Bagan defence

Anas Edathodika did his chances for an Indian cap no harm with a resolute performance in the heart of the defence for Mohun Bagan. The Kerala-born star has followed up his breathrough performances in the Indian Super League with some brave, no-nonsense defending for Bagan. The team, which went down to 10 men in 69th minute when left-back Subhasis Bose got his marching orders, defended as a unit throughout the, stifling BFC in its own half.

 

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The team dominated in all departments of defence, especially after coach Sanjoy Sen took off striker Darryl Duffy to bring in Prabir Das to aid the defence. While Bagan wouldn’t be too happy with a draw, it was a case of a point gained than two points dropped for the Kolkata club in Round 14.

East Bengal falters

East Bengal will rue the missed opportunity to climb closer to Aizawl FC

East Bengal missed out on a golden opportunity to reduce the gap at the top of table to a point ( Aizawl has 30 while East Bengal has 27 from 14 matches) when it squandered an early lead to lose 2-1 to Chennai City. The ‘Red and Golds’ bullied and pressed the young Tamil Nadu team throughout the match but the Chennai team came out on top where it matter – number of goals.

No Amiri, No problem

Striker Haroon Amiri’s contract was terminated last week after a disagreement with the Chennai management’s insistence on promoting local talent. The team’s plan was vindicated when two of its Under-22 players – Nandhakumar and Prasanth — scored in the victory against East Bengal. The team didn’t miss Amiri’s presence too much in the match where, yet again, it sat back and played on the counter through long-balls. Charles de Souza’s tireless work in front must be applauded and the victory saw the team jump from bottom to eighth place in the table.

DSK sizzles amidst talks of internal chaos

Reports have emerged that the DSK Group is going through a financial turmoil but that has not affected the Shivajians’ performance on the field. The young team took apart a spineless Mumbai FC 5-0 in one of the most one-sided matches of the season.

Shivajians’ Iniesta

Juan Quero might not have the same talent as fellow Spaniard Andres Iniesta but his influence in the current DSK team certainly deserves a comparison. The diminutive Spaniard pulled all strings from the midfield and topped Round 14 of the I-League in the number of key passes made.

Santosh running on borrowed time

I don’t expect them to protest this way. They are abusing through the internet and also at the stadium. If they are uneducated and doing so, I can understand. But they are from good families so that’s disrespectful. I believe their upbringing is a problem - Santosh Kashyap

Mumbai FC was not expected to battle relegation at the start of the season but the team has struggled under coach Santosh Kashyap and find itself bottom of the table after the latest round of matches.

The manager’s aggressive approach hasn’t reportedly gone down well with Mumbai’s senior players and his rude comments on fans’ up-bringing after the DSK drubbing wouldn’t have helped his case at the club. According to sources, the club might elevate an assistant coach to the senior post if Kashyap is sacked and will only find a full-time replacement in the summer.

Stats courtesy: InStat

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