Welcome to Goal's new I-League feature: Top and Flop. For every game, a candidate will be put forward, as chosen by Goal, who deserves recognition for achieving something special. It won't necessarily be the best player in the league - but whoever we nominate will have done something amazing. In the same vein, we will also name a player whose performance wasn’t up to the mark on the given day and eventually came to hurt his side.
|TOP: Raju Gaikwad
The East Bengal player earned his first I-League appearance this season against Bengaluru FC as the regular central-backs Uga Okpara and Arnab Mondal were unavailable due to suspension and injury issues. He paired up well with Gurwinder Singh at the heart of the defense, keeping the prolific Sean Rooney at bay.
He also pulled off a few very important challenges, where the strikers could have gone on to one-on-one scenarios with the goalkeeper. The highlight of the match came in added-time of the second half when he executed a brilliant sliding tackle to dispossess Rooney, who would have gone to an almost certain goal-scoring position had he mistimed the tackle.
| FLOP: Sunil Chhetri
Sunil Chhetri, playing on the left in a 4-2-3-1 employed by Ashley Westwood, failed to make his mark on the game. Even when the likes of Hangal and Beikhokhei were creating chances despite being inexperienced in muddy Kolkata fields, the Indian skipper who had spent a number of seasons in the city, failed to make anything out of the passes played to him. Young Abhishek Das marked him well, making him look pretty ordinary.
Do you agree with our choices? Let us know YOUR opinion by dropping a comment below