Five things we learned from the I-League round 15

Goal lists some observations from round fifteen of the I-League.

GOALBY   Atanu Mitra   Follow @Atanu00 on twitter

A number of important fixtures were played in the last weekend with both the title race and relegation fight becoming more intense. Several talking points also came up, courtesy of the gruelling encounters that featured throughout the round.

East Bengal need to build on a confident away win

East Bengal notched up a vital away win against Bengaluru FC in the most important fixture of the weekend, giving their efforts to win the I-League a huge boost. After many a day, the Red and Gold brigade looked confident on the field and dominated their resolute opponents for most of the match. Even though they don't have anymore I-League matches before a 50-day long break, this win should serve as a huge moral boost for them in their title-run. With the lethal partnership of James Moga and Edeh Chidi things are looking up for the Kolkata club.

Mohun Bagan seem to be out of ideas

After an impressive 4-0 victory over United Sports Club, Mohun Bagan once again seemed to lose the plot and their 0-1 disappointment against a young Dempo side brought their lack of depth to the fore, especially in the creative midfield department. The team seem to have run out of ideas and with their main striker Odafa Okolie scoring only one goal in this year's league, their usual strategy of playing long balls to the Nigerian has also not worked. Mohun Bagan have scored the least goals this season with only 11 to their name and that epitomises the problems they are facing in the final third.

Relegation battle as exciting as championship fight

The I-League this year is vastly competitive with almost six or seven teams scrapping about in mid-table. After the first few weeks, Rangdajied United were the favourites for relegation but their recent performances have given them a much-needed push up the league table.

Churchill Brothers also had a dismal start to the season and sit in bottom place, though they have a game in hand compared to Rangdajied who have two points more. A recent addition to the relegation fight is Mohammedan Sporting, who are currently on a five-match winless streak.

Sporting Clube de Goa banking on consistency

The Flaming Oranje have lost only one match in their last seven and have emerged as one of the most consistent sides of the competition. They have three points less than the table-toppers Bengaluru FC but have a match in hand. While Ogba Kalu Nnanna has shown his ability as a play-maker, Oscar Bruzon has also played a few masterstrokes in the important face-offs of the league. If the Goan team can continue to perform at this level till the end of the campaign, they will certainly issue a strong challenge to the other title contenders.

Pune FC recover from slump in form

A Mustapha Riga brace helped Pune FC bag three very important points against United Sports Club, helping the Red Lizards to stay afloat in the championship race. This win takes them back to the top three and if Riga, the ex-Bolton and Levante striker can chip in with goals more regularly, the runners-up of the last edition could pose a strong threat to the other high-profile teams.

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