With 2012 coming to an end, Goal.com has a look at the best matches of the I-League this year. Although not great for the fans of some teams, these games were certainly a treat to watch for the neutrals.
|01 Febuary 2012: Sporting Clube de Goa 4-2 Pune FC
The 'Flaming Oranje' made a successful comeback from two goals down to pip Derrick Pereira's side in an entertaining encounter played in Goa.
Mandjou Keita (8', 21') scored twice to put the away side in the lead before Ogba Kalu Nnanna (30', 45+1') led the revival in the first half to level the scores.
James Moga gave Sporting the lead for the first time in the 82nd minute, while Dawson Fernandes ensured the victory for the home side.
|10 April 2012: HAL Bangalore 4-6 Pune FC
Although already relegated, HAL SC in their home match put up quite a show in the 10-goal thriller that eventually saw the visitors go home with three points.
Rohit Chand found the back of the net in the very first minute for the Bangalore side, only to see his side down 4-1 by the end of the first half.
Subhash Singh started Pune FC's comeback with a goal in the 9th minute followed by Mandjou Keita’s brace (34', 35'). Douhou Pierre put the icing on the cake for the Pune team in the dying minutes of the first half.
After the break. Subhash added another goal for the Red Lizards which gave them what seemed like an unassailable lead.
HAL came back strongly in the second half as Jagaba Hamza Amaba made it 5-2 in the 69th minute while an inspired Rohit Chand (72', 86') brought the home side within touching distance to get a point from the game.
Mahinder Singh (88') however killed all hopes of a miraculous come back as the substitute extended Pune FC’s lead to 6-4 with just a couple of minutes left to play. This was the final nail in the coffin for the Bangalore-based side in the top flight as the defeat ensured that they were on their way to I-League second division.
|11 April 2012: Churchill Brothers 2-4 Dempo SC
Armando Colaco's side got the better of their Goan rivals who were down to 10-men given the sending off of Beto after the Brazilian scored twice.
Clifford Miranda broke the deadlock in the 37th minute before Beto scored the equaliser in the 43rd minute as the two teams ended on level terms at half time.
Beto then put Churchill Brothers in the lead for the first time in the match in the 46th minute which was soon cancelled by Ranti Martins (50') before Koko Sakibo gave Dempo the lead for the second time in the game in the 63rd minute.
Former Churchill player Rowilson Rodrigues doubled the lead in the 86th minute after former Dempo player Beto was handed a second yellow card for handball.
|16 April 2012: East Bengal 4-3 Chirag United Kerala
East Bengal managed to keep their bleak title hopes alive by overcoming Chirag United Kerala in a seven-goal thriller.
Man of the match Tolgay Ozbey scored two goals in the 32nd and the 54th minute after Penn Orji broke the deadlock for East Bengal in the 25th minute.
The visiting side had David Sunday's hat-trick (37', 41' and 48') to show, but it wasn't enough as Robin Singh's 77th minute strike proved to be the winner for Trevor Morgan's unit.
|10 November 2012: Prayag United 10-1 United Sikkim FC
Prayag United thumped United Sikkim FC 10-1 at the Salt Lake Stadium with Ranti Martins scoring five goals and Carlos Hernandez getting a brace. Mohammad Rafique and Shylo Malswamtulunga were on the scoresheet as well. Nima Tamangscored the only goal for the away side. This was certainly one of the most one-sided games in the history of I-League.
It was Eelco Schattorie’s first match in-charge of Prayag United following Sanjoy Sen’s resignation and he elected to start with creative midfielder, Lalkamal Bhowmick playing the role of building up from deep, flanked by K Asif and Carlos Hernandez on either side of him while Malswamtulunga and CK Vineeth being the two wingers.
The games started at a very high tempo with Ranti Martins putting Prayag ahead in the 3rd minute, to which Nima Tamang replied with a fitting equalizer. This was probably the impetus needed by the attacking line up of Prayag as they went on to add 4 more in the first half, and ending up with 10 at the 90 minute mark.
|02 December 2012: Prayag United 2-3 Mumbai FC
Ranti Martins gave Prayag the lead in the 29th minute which was cancelled out by an Evans Quao header from a Nicholas Rodrigues set piece. Khalid Jamil’s inspired substitution of throwing on Abhishek Yadavmade paid off as he made it 2-1 in the 82nd minute.
However, Shankar Oraon bagged an equaliser in the injury time. The action was not over yet, as a moment of brilliance by Yusif Yakubu in 90’+4 handed the away side a vital victory as Eelco Schattorie would have to ponder on his side's defensive problems.
|16 December 2012: Churchill Brothers 8-4 Sporting Clube de Goa
Bineesh Balan, Henry Antchouet, Roberto Mendes Da Silva and Akram Moghrabigot on the score sheet to smash 8 past a hapless Sporting defense. Although they did reply with 4 goals, two of which were in the stoppage time of the game.
Bineesh Balan gave the hosts an early lead, but it wasn’t to last as Sporting played offensive football to go in the lead by the 34th minute. Churchill made their attack count too by coming back and ending the first half leading by 4-2. A high scoring second half ensued, as both sides’ attack was overpowering their defense.
Bineesh Balan had already completed his hat-trick in the first half along with one Antchouet goal across either halves, and Roberto Mendes Da Silva adding two in the second. Moghrabi also got on to the act by adding one late on to make it eight and complete the rout.
|15 December 2012: Dempo SC 1-5 Pune FC
Derrick Pereira masterminded this victory against Armando Colaco’s side which ended Dempo’s unbeaten run in Goa.
James Moga was the hero as he got his Pune side moving by scoring as early as the 15th minute. Although, Joaquim Abranches equalized for Dempo, which ended the first half at 1-1, Moga again gave his side the lead and it was no looking back from hereon.
Pune showed their attacking prowess by adding 3 more in the final 15 minutes with goals from Arata Izumi, Jeje and Pierre to ensure the three points.
|27 November 2012: Air India 3-3 United Sikkim FC
United Sikkim shared the points with Air India at the Balewadi stadium in Pune in a game which finished with the score line at 3-3, with the last 5 minutes seeing 3 goals being scored.
The Airmen went ahead thanks to Obagemiro Junior’s effort from the spot in the 45th minute, after Ezeh Henry had been bought down in the box. Their lead did not even last a minute, as Nuruddin Salau equalized straight from kick-off in the following minute.
Salau doubled his and United Sikkim’s tally in the 73rd minute. Gagandeep Singh thought he had salvaged a point for the hosts in the 89th minute with a rasping volley, only for Anwar Ali to restore his side’s lead in the 90th minute with a headed goal. In the final twist of the game, the referee deemed Ezeh Henry was fouled in the box, and gave the hosts a penalty, which was converted by Junior in the 94th minute.
|16 December 2012: East Bengal 0-1 Prayag United
Ranti Martins left it late as he scored in the 75th minute off a Bhowmick corner to give Prayag United a 1-0 win over East Bengal at the Salt Lake Stadium. Ranti not only ended his team's losing streak but also terminated the Red and Gold unbeaten run which had stretched to 15 matches so far.
How do you stay up with football when on the move? With http://m.goal.com –your best source for mobile coverage of the beautiful game.