Five things we learned from I-League matchday four

The fourth gameweek had plenty of talking points. Goal has a look at the important issues from the midweek action…

GOALBY   Rahul Bali     Follow @rahul_atma on twitter

There was no shortage of drama, individual brilliance and shocks on Matchday Four. While there were several things that caught every I-League faithful's eye, Goal lists down five of the most important points.

Salgaocar's right flank is the strongest

Derrick Pereira’s side outplayed Dempo SC in the first half in a game which ended 1-1. Salgaocar FC had countless number of chances to make their dominance count but Darryl Duffy only managed to convert one of those opportunities while Claude Gnakpa saw his shot come off the post. All the attacks the Greens created were from the right side with full-back Nicolau Colaco making those impressing runs forward. Francis Fernandes and Gilbert Oliviera interchanged on the flanks too which left the Dempo defense puzzled as to what was coming at them and at frantic pace. However their left flank is an area of concern for the coach. All through the summer, the club was on the lookout for a left back but failed to make any top signing and that was evident as Rahul Kumar struggled against Jeje Lalpekhlua. Fulganco Cardozo is another option on the bench however the player was guilty on numerous occasions last season for the club, in letting in cheap goals.

East Bengal's squad depth is frightening

Mehtab Hossain, Gurpreet Singh Sandhu, Soumik Dey, Arnab Mondal and Naoba Singh were left out of the squad which travelled to the north east to face Shillong Lajong. Add to this the injured Ryuji Sueoka was missing the trip as well. Despite the absence of the above mentioned players, the Kolkata outfit strolled past a Lajong side which had four foreign players. Chidi Edeh and James Moga made a mockery of the home side’s defense with Calvin Lobo adding his name on the score sheet too in the 4-0 rout. It doesn’t come as a surprise that they are being billed as the favourites to win the league this season, as has been the case for the past two years.

Pune FC's strongest start in the I-League

The Red Lizards have made a fantastic to their I-League campaign this term. In the previous four campaigns, never have the amassed more than six points in their opening four matches. This term however they already have seven points in their kitty from three matches, with just one game played at home. They have traditionally been slow starters and have never been unbeaten in the opening foue fixtures. Last season they won their first two games before losing to East Bengal and Churchill Brothers. Part of their good form this term can also be attributed to their foreigners being fit, something which wasn’t always the case in the previous seasons. It will be interesting to see whether they can sustain their momentum.

Mumbai FC are difficult to beat at home

It would be fair to state that United Sports Club dominated the proceedings against the home side however they couldn’t breach their defense more than once. Mumbai FC have twice managed to come back and sneak in a point this season. While many teams do not take a liking to the tactics employed by Khalid Jamil, the fact is that visiting teams are aware of the difficulty in beating the Mumbaikars. With the addition of Yusif Yakubu, they will only get better in the coming matchdays. They are a sturdy outfit who, on their day, could give any team a run for their money.

The difference between Durand Cup and the I-League

The Kolkata outfit have struggled so far in the I-League with no points to show from their three games. Following their activity in the transfer market where they surprised everyone by roping in the likes of Tolgay Ozbey and Penn Orji, they haven’t gelled as a unit. While many would point out that the club won the Durand Cup last month, they have been found wanting in the country’s top division league. However, there is a difference between playing a cup competition and league. Those two certainly cannot be compared. However the Durand Cup triumph cannot be taken seriously given the standard of the teams competing.


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