I-League heads to a Photo Finish

Published 05/30/2015, 11:22 AM EDT
Sony Norde- One of the best foreign signings this I-League season


The eight season of Hero I-League looks all set for a close finish  as the champions will only be decided through the final match on Sunday. It is Mohun Bagan which leads the table by two points but could only seal the title if they win or draw against Bengaluru FC (currently second in the league table) at Sree Kanteerava Stadium, Bengaluru in the final match of Hero I-League 2014-15 season.

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After the creation of I-league in 2007, no club from Bengal was able to win the title with the league completely dominated by Goan clubs and also with Bengaluru FC winning it last season. Hence there is an added pressure on Mohun Bagan as they come to face the Men in Blue on Sunday. Bagan this season has undergone big and healthy changes including a new manager- Sajoy Sen. The former Mohammedan FC coach was instrumental in making Bagan rise from a normal mid table club to the one of the best clubs this season.

The foreign recruits especially the Haitian Sony Norde has been spectacular this season and provided the right amount of caliber and flair the team needed. A rock solid defense ensured that they conceded the least goals in the I-League -15. Though the club had a spectacular run in the start with 12 games unbeaten it died down in the later half even though they continued as table toppers. This fall gave Bengaluru FC a perfect opportunity to close the point gap and hence keeping alive the chances for their second consecutive league tittle.

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Sony Norde- One of the best foreign signings  this I-League season

The Federation Cup winners Bengaluru FC had everything going their way since its inception in 2013. The club has went on to win the league in their first season and also went on to win the Federation Cup. Bengaluru’s strength lies in their attack with Sunil Chhetri and Robin Singh leading from the front. Both had a good season contributing for most of the goals even though the club had a slow start to the league this season. Their manager Ashley Westwood ensured that they wont slip in the title race and still believes that the side can make a remarkable turnaround in the final day.

Both clubs had some good supporters to come and cheer for their match throughout the season and hence a big crowd will be expected on the 24,000 seater Kanteerava stadium at the garden city. Though Bagan needs just a draw, Sajoy Sen knows that he can’t keep his team in the defensive mode every time especially when the opposition has strikers with the likes of Sunil Chhetri.

“Past performance does not matter us, this is a new game. Though we need just one point against BFC’s three, it is always uncertain if you play for a draw, and let me tell you that we are looking for 3 full points”, said a determined Sajoy Sen.

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Meanwhile, Bengaluru captain said that even though he has won many titles, none of them was this close. He adds that the team will treat the match as a cup final and will put forth everything to win it after 8 months of hard work.

With the two best clubs of this season locking horns tomorrow at the garden city, a high octane clash can be expected under a packed Kanteerava stadium. Kickoff will be at 7pm. Don’t forget to set your reminder or alarm at 7 pm as this is something that should never be missed.

 

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Image courtsey – AIFF

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Dhruv George

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Dhruv George is a senior Formula One and NASCAR analyst for EssentiallySports, having authored nearly 12000 articles spanning different sports like F1, NASCAR, Tennis, NFL, and eSports. He graduated with a PG Diploma in Journalism from the Xavier Institute of Communications. Dhruv has also conducted interviews with F1 driver Pierre Gasly and Moto2 rider Tony Arbolino.

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