I-League team of the round 18: Angel Berlanga and Pratesh Shirodkar star Sporting Goa trounce Salgaocar in Goan derby

Goal.com recaps all the action from Week 18 of the I-League and chooses a team from among the best performers.
Round 18 of the Indian I-League saw some key battles as teams at both ends of the table went head-to head with each other and the outcomes have setup in intriguing final phase of the campaign heading into the upcoming mid-season recess.

Mumbai FC played out a 0-0 draw with Churchill Brothers bringing an end to the visitors’ long winning streak. The contest was always going to be about whether the hosts would be able to contain the Goans’ free-flowing attack and Khalid Jamil’s resilient side came out on top to come away with a well-earned point. The result sees Mariano Dias’ men retain top spot and they are on 38 points from 16 games.  On the other hand, Mumbai have 25 points from 17 outings and they are in 6th spot.

East Bengal edged out Pune FC 2-1 to make the most Churchill Brothers’ draw. In a tight contest, Edeh Chidi put the visitors in front on 6 minutes. However, midfielder Arata Izumi evened up matters for the hosts in the 17th minute. Just as it looked as though the game was heading for a stalemate, Chidi was brought down in the area by Subhash Singh and the striker gratefully stepped up to convert from the spot.  The crucial three points saw the Red and Gold cut the gap at the top of the table to two points and are in 2nd place with 36 points from 18 matches, having played two games more than the league leaders. Meanwhile, the Red Lizards’ title hopes is hanging in the balance as they remain stuck in 4th position with 30 points from 16 games.

Prayag United split the points with Mohun Bagan following a 1-1 draw. Tolgay Ozbey gave the Mariners a precious advantage four minutes after the break but they failed to hold and on league top scorer Ranti Martins rescued a point for the hosts with a late strike. With the result Eelco Schattorie’s side are in 5th spot with 27 points from 18 games. Contrastingly, the solitary point does Bagan’s already flagging survival hopes no good and they are second from bottom with 14 points from 13 games.

Dempo SC and ONGC FC also shared the points with the same score line. Jatin Bisht gave the visitors the lead on in the 37th minute and the home side huffed and puffed before Peter Carvalho eventually found the leveller a minute into second half injury time. The daw sees the Oilmen continue their impressive run of form under Santosh Kahyap and they are mid-table with 21 points from 17 outings. On the flip side, Armando Colaco's men lose yet more ground in the title race, but are still within touching distance of the top two in 3rd place, with 34 points from 17 games as well.

Pailan Arrows got out of jail with a 1-1 draw against United Sikkim. Both these teams aren’t exactly renowned for their goal-scoring exploits, so perhaps it was no surprise that moments of inspiration were few and far between. Anwar Ali gave struggling Sikkim a crucial lead late in the second half with a spectacular scissor-kick, but the visitors failed to hold on and substitute Tirthankar Sarkar broke their hearts with the equaliser three minutes from time. The late drama meant, Nathan Hall’s side were unable to put an end to their long winless run and they occupy second from bottom spot with a mere 12 points from 18 matches, while the Arrows are in 8th place with 19 points having played a game less.

Shillong Lajong came from behind twice to draw 2-2 against Air India. Henry Ezeh gave the Airmen an early lead on 17 minutes but, Sho Kamimura struck back for the hosts in the 38th minute.  Prakash Thorat restored the visitors’ advantage past the hour mark but, Kamimura was at it again as he struck in the 6th minute of second half stoppage time, to deny Anthony Fernandes’ men the three points. With the point, the Pilots are in 11th place with 15 points from the same number of matches, while their opponents are only a place and a point better off from 18 outings.

Sporting Clube de Goa beat Salgaocar FC 2-0 in an all Goan clash. Ogba Kalu Nnanna and debutant Angel Luis Berlanga Vina scored in quick succession after the hour mark to hand the home side the win. The result sees Sporting climb to 9th spot and they have 17 points from the same number of games.  Meanwhile, their Goan rivals Salgaocar, are still in deep relegation stubble as they are third from bottom with 14 points from 17 games.


Sandip Nandy
Churchill Brothers SC

Haroon Fakruddin Amiri
Mumbai FC

Anwar Ali
United Sikkim


Angel Berlanga
Sporting Clube de Goa

Pratesh Shirodkar

Sporting Clube de Goa

Ogba Kalu Nnanna
Sporting Clube de Goa

Jatin Bisht

Tirthankar Sarkar
Pailan Arrows

Ranti Martins
Prayag United

Chidi Edeh
East Bengal


Sho Kamimura
Shillong Lajong

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