Five things we learned from the I-League round twelve

Goal lists down some important observations from round twelve of the I-League...

GOALBY   Nikhil Jitendran    Follow @ZiplineZorro on twitter

Round Twelve has breezed us by with a host of interesting results. However, it is the aftermath of the conclusions from the games that matter for insight, and with a fair few talking points, this weekend threw up a lot of compelling observations.

Yakubu an inspiration for creation and attack

At the beginning of the season, with Orok Essien and Sanjdar Ahmadi both misfiring and Mumbai genuinely missing a genuine creative talent, one wondered if the trouble would ever abate for the Mumbaikars. Well, they have finally found one such player and how he has answered their call. Yusif Yakubu, the Ghanaian, was a revelation for Mumbai FC in attack against the Red and Gold of East Bengal, with him scoring with his first touch of the season and of the game too. He then proceeded to set-up Ahmad Hatifie for the second, before which he utterly dismantled the East Bengal defense, with his pace and trickery. Khalid Jamil, coach of Mumbai FC, will hope he can keep up the form and propel the Yellow and Blacks to further highs for the remainder of the season.

Bengaluru FC's exceptional home form

Bengaluru FC can count themselves as genuine title contenders based on just their home form. Unbeaten in seven home games, they look the real deal. Their away form is suspect, but with the immense amount of talent on avail in the squad, one wouldn’t expect much of a hiccup from the 2013 formed side. Coach Ashley Westwood has done a fantastic job with the new club which has seen several players riseto prominence such as Beikhohei Bengaichho, Keegan Pereira, Siam Hangal and many more.

Salgaocar FC losing their way

Times are not good for the Greens from Goa, as they continue to flounder in their recent spate of poor form. They dominated against Pune FC but only came away with a point, while Bengaluru FC beat them by a whisker with Salgaocar’s top goal scorer, Darryl Duffy, missing an injury time penalty. Their agony has been compounded by losing the Goan Derby to Sporting Goa while allegations of discrepancies in player registrations have seen the All India Football Federation’s (AIFF) disciplinary wing docking a point from their total. Coach Derrick Pereira needs to get his house in order, as a few more results like these will see them plummet further away from the top where they should hope to compete.

Mohun Bagan in utter tatters

The ever venerable Kolkata giants, Mohun Bagan, are in a mess in the 2013-14 edition of the I-League. After the Kolkata derby against East Bengal, which they were unlucky to lose, many praised their defense as being one of the strongest in the league. But all opinions were laid to cold water, after their humiliating defeat to Rangdajied United at home. Their attack lacks any character without Okolie Odafa firing on all cylinders and many will hope, Christopher Chizoba will add something to the line-up Eric Muranda didn’t. Their midfield, though somewhat sturdier than other departments, severely lacks creativity. All is not lost however and one will expect that an experienced coach like Karim Bencherifa can sort the issues affecting the team.  

Pune FC thin upfront

Pune FC have been in fantastic colour all season long, yet their last few results have seem them pick just three points up. One reason for their slip has been the lack of goal scoring hunger up front which was apparent when they faced United SC. Riga Mustapha looks a good deal, but with him still coming to grips with football in the sub-continent, his lieutenants should look to back him up. However, with only Fanai Lalrempuia and Thongkhoisem Haokip in the wings, a crisis could unfold for the Red Lizards if someone up front were to become injured.

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