Goal takes a look at the latest round of the I-League which also saw the Kolkata as well as the Maha Derby take place...
BY KAUSTAV BERA Follow @hopelessk on twitter
In the Derby week both of which unfortunately ended in stalemates, Goal picks out five things we learnt from game-week 19 of the I-League...
|The big Kolkata Derby is a contrasting tale
The Kolkata Derby had spectators plenty but both teams lacked their star men with Uga Okpara and Edeh Chidi from the Red and Gold side being countered by the absence of Odafa Okolie from the Green and Maroon brigade. Mohun Bagan did pay for the big Nigerian's absence upfront as they failed to find the back of the net in the first half which they dominated and also had the cream of the chances. The East Bengal story was different though with indiscipline taking the centre stage with stories of disharmony in the team. Edeh Chidi had supposedly texted his coach of his inability to play while Uga Okpara was awol taking a holiday in Nigeria without permission and only returning a couple of days before the derby. With both teams gaining only a point, it did neither favours.
|Rangdajied are infused with fresh blood
The inclusion of Steven Dias and the goal machine, Ranti Martins Soleye has infused relegation candidates, Rangdajied United with a fresh desire to get out of the battle for the drop. With a creditable win against league top guns in Bengaluru FC, Rangdajied haven't thrown in the white towel as yet, as under new coach Hering Shpliang they are showing enough resilience to stay up. Meanwhile, Bengaluru are letting their early dominance slip as they are on a downward slide and with a torrent of away games left, they must buck up or lose the spot.
|Mohammedan have finally won a match
In spite of Mohammedan Sporting already having won two trophies in the season, adding the IFA Shield to the Durand win earlier in 2013, besides performing admirably in the Federation Cup, it is their woeful I-League form which saw them fire Aziz Moshood and get Sanjoy Sen on board. On a four match losing streak, the Black and Whites finally decided to go back to winning ways and they did it in style too, getting the better of I-League pace setters, Sporting clube de Goa even though they were down to ten men for the better part of a half. Meanwhile the Flaming Oranje missed a chance of going level with Bengaluru on top.
|Salgaocar back in contention for title
The revival of Salgaocar with the inclusion of Dudu Omagbemi has been exceptional. Three goals and an assist in three matches has seen Salgaocar run away with a maximum of nine points and given new life to a team which was struggling in the league. Not only scoring himself, the striker has also managed to restart Darryl Duffy who was going through a lean patch after a promising start to his Indian sojourn. With Dudu and Duffy firing on all cylinders, Salgaocar can still put up a fight for the title.
|If you don't score first, then you can't win against Mumbai
The dictum seems to be that if you don't score first against Mumbai FC, you should be prepared for a draw as Pune FC found out in the 'Maha' derby. In the four defeats they suffered in the I-League, Mumbai FC have conceded first. Often blamed for time wasting and other 'unsportsmanlike' tactics by opposing managers, Mumbai FC are brutally efficient when it comes to grinding out results. When things don't go their way and they fail to extract a victory oppositions should now expect them to dig down and hold on to their fort.
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