Three sides stay in contention for a single semi-final spot from Group C. Goal.com has a look at the permutations and combinations that could decide the fourth semi-finalist....
Group C - Possible outcomes
ONGC F.C Vs Sporting Clube de Goa
East Bengal Vs Kalighat MS
All To Play For...
|Sporting Clube de Goa||2||4||1||4|
Who is already through or knocked out?
Kalighat MS, who made their tournament debut, will unfortunately go no further, as after getting thrashed 5-1 by ONGC and being edged out 3-2 by Sporting Clube de Goa, they are in no position to catch the sides ahead of them.
All the other three teams are in with a realistic chance of making it through.
Sporting Clube de Goa’s Scenario
The Goans will be hoping to make it an all Goa semi-final lineup, and have a good chance of fulfilling that dream.
With a better goal difference, the Flaming Oranje currently are ahead of East Bengal. However the road ahead is tricky. Even a win against ONGC does not guarantee them progression, since Trevor Morgan’s side could overhaul them by winning by a bigger margin against Kalighat, a scenario that cannot be ruled out.
A draw would see them dependent on the other game’s result, with a win or draw for Kalighat still being enough for the Goans. A loss would rule them out, as opponents ONGC would overhaul them.
East Bengal's Scenario
Six Kolkatan sides were on the starting grid, but only one has a decent chance of making it through. Trevor Morgan will have to beat Kalighat, and beat them convincingly, to have a chance of making it through. Even then their fate will rest on the result between Sporting Clube de Goa and ONGC, with Morgan hoping that at worse, the Goans win with a margin lesser than the scoreline with which East Bengal beat Kalighat, if they manage to do that at all.
The I-League new boys came into the tournament, not in their peak form, according to their manager Bibek Bhowmick. However they surely brushed off the cobwebs quickly, once they took to the field against Kalighat, handing them a 5-1 hammering. However a loss to East Bengal means that they no longer have control over their destiny.
ONGC must beat Sporting Clube de Goa, and hope East Bengal fail to win against Kalighat MS, in order to make it through to the final four.
How Did The Other Groups Pan Out
Group A – Dempo SC
The Goans stuttered at the start, being held and at times outplayed by Pailan Arrows on Matchday 1. However they took full advantage of Arthur Papas’ side dropping two points against Mumbai FC, by winning their next two games, leaving the Arrows behind, who finished with a creditable tally of 5 points.
Shillong Lajong finished the group stages with 3 points from a win against Mumbai FC, while it might turned out to be another long season for Khalid Jamil’s side on the evidence of their performances here, as they finished with a single point from their group engagements.
Group B – Churchill Brothers
While the Red Machines lost a few of their coveted Indian Internationals over the summer, they seem to have recruited their foreign players sensibly, as seven of their nine goals have come from foreign recruits.
They have also been tight at the back, conceding only one goal in the Group stages, and comfortably made it through to the semis.
Mohun Bagan finished with four points, yet again failing to start the season in full flow and needing to wait for the dead rubber against Mohd. Sporting to garner their first goals and 3 points of the campaign, while Mohammedan Sporting and Air India garnered a win each, to finish on 3 points.
Group D – Salgaocar SC
Karim Bencherifa’s side have shown that they shall not let their crown be taken away from them too easily. The only side to have a perfect record so far, and that is a stat that is difficult to argue against.
Pune FC might feel unlucky yet again not make the semi-final of a cup event, but the Red Lizards overall haven’t got the arsenal that their Goan opponents boast of given that James Moga was absent from their campaign.
Prayag United meanwhile flattered to deceive, knocked out after the second matchday, leaving their coach Sanjoy Sen, hanging on to his job by a thread. United Sikkim go home without having scored a single goal. Needless to say, they have plenty to ponder over, before the I-League season begins.How do you stay up with football when on the move? With http://m.goal.com –your best source for mobile coverage of the beautiful game.