© Mayur Desai, Apr 09, 2010

An eye on the League: Round 19 report

Round 19 saw a major shift in the title race with second placed Mahindra displacing league leaders Dempo after defeating the latter at the Cooperage. Meanwhile, Churchill Brothers stay in the hunt for the league title after they thrashed JCT at home.

Air India vs. Shillong Lajong FC: After beating them earlier in the season, Lajong travelled to Mumbai to play Yusuf Ansari’s Air India. Passah fouled Opara inside the area in the 17th minute to concede a penalty which Opara duly converted it. Passah however made up for it with a goal in the last ten minutes. The match ended tied at 1-1.

Air India 1: ND Opara (p) 17
Shillong Lajong FC 1: W. Passah 83


Churchill Brothers vs. JCT: A lot has been spoken about Churchill Brothers in the recent past about their indifferent form in the league owing to the added commitment of the AFC Cup. However, the champions replied in style against JCT in Goa. Three goals on either side of the break in which Odafa scored a brace while the rest of the team came to the party as well. At 6-0 the rout was complete and JCT will head back to Ludhiana demoralised.

Churchill Brothers 6: N. Silveira 10 F. Chimaokwu 12 L. Ralte 39 Odafa 75, 88 O. Kalu 90+1 JCT 0


Mahindra United vs. Dempo SC: Dempo SC took on Mahindra in this title decider. Valeriano send an accurate cross in the first-half which was headed in by Ranty Martins. The visitors looked stronger in the first-half but David Booth made a change in the second period sending in Sveto for Shivalkar. Mahindra started playing much better after that and Rafi’s goal was the evidence. His reaction header of Debrata Roy’s shot; send the ball into the net. Thereafter, Muritala Ali who was set free from a defence splitting pass, gave Mahindra the lead lifting the ball over the keeper. Ali made it 3-0 right at the death making it a compelling victory over their immediate rivals.

Mahindra United 3: M. Rafi 57 M. Ali 66, 90+4
Dempo SC 1: R. Martins 14


Chirag United vs. Viva Kerala: A transformed Viva side took on Chirag United at the Salt Lake Stadium in Kolkata. Viva’s in form player Sirajudeen gave the away side the lead by the hour mark but Ashim Biswas equalised for the home side. The scores stayed tied at the final whistle which means Viva Kerala’s run continues to six matches unbeaten.

Chirag United 1: A. Biswas 37
Viva Kerala 1: C. Sirajudeen 27


Salgaocar vs. Sporting Club de Goa: The Goan derby between Salgaocar and Sporting had an added twist as both sides are lingering in the bottom half of the table. Salgaocar were the home side for this one. The ‘Flaming Oranje’ took the lead through Elijah Junior. His impressive solo effort came just before the half-way whistle. Adil Khan made it 2-0 in the 57th minute. Salgaocar’s Keita reduced the lead pulling one back in the 74th minute, but their defender R. Samieinia handled the ball inside the box gifting a penalty to Sporting. He received a red card for his offence and Junior converted the penalty. The match ended 3-1 in favour of Sporting who registered only their second win of the campaign.

Salgaocar 1: M. Keita 74
Sporting Club de Goa 3: E. Junior 57, 90+2 A. Khan 57


Mumbai FC vs. Pune FC: Pune FC visited Cooperage to play Mumbai FC. The hosts took the lead in the 55th minute through Caldeira in a very open game. But Edmar towered to head the ball from Tokov’s cross in the 58th minute for the equaliser. Edmar did it again in the 72nd minute heading this time from Venkatesh’s cross. The game ended in a loss for the home team and Mumbai FC need to find some form in the coming matches to save themselves from relegation.

Mumbai FC 1: D. Caldeira 55
Pune FC 2: Edmar 58, 72

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