Tag: I-League

I-League 2018/19: Mohun Bagan seek revival under new coach

KOLKATA: Mohun Bagan will seek a revival of fortunes under new coach Khalid Jamil when they take on Minerva Punjab in a must win 2018/19 I-League fixture on Wednesday at Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan, kick-off 2 pm.

Khalid Jmail takes over the reins of the team after previous incumbent Sankarlal Chakraborty put in his papers following successive defeats against Neroca FC and Real Kashmir which leaves them on sixth place in league standings with 15 points from 11 matches, nine points shy of leaders Chennai City FC.

Formerly at bitter rivals East Bengal where he failed to impress, Khalid has a big job on his hands but he is confident the players available will do the task to revive the team.

“It is a big challenge for me and I am aware but only unity at the moment will help us. I will do my best as the coach to make sure the team returns to where it belongs. I believe the players available are capable of accomplishing the task.” Khalid said after conducting his first training session on Tuesday.

“Players are fully aware that what happened in last few matches is simply unacceptable for a club of Mohun Bagan’s magnitude and stature. The first thing I need to do with the players is to reinforce them mentally, to make them mentally stronger. Once the head is okay, then everything else will take care of itself. The important thing is injecting them with elements of self-belief and self-confidence,”  he added.

Although Khalid has mentioned that it’s literally impossible to make any drastic changes in just 24 hours but judging by Mohun Bagan’s training session on Tuesday, the former India international has definitely succeeded to inject positive energy in the side that has lost the fighting spirit and will to win.

“We need to prepare for the race till the end because the difference between top and bottom teams is not that big. Definitely it’s difficult but not impossible we need to give our best shot,” Khalid concluded.

Mohun Bagan will be without defender Lalchhawnkima (Kim Kima), who is injured. He join long term absentee Sukhdev Singh.

Mohun Bagan confirm Khalid Jamil as new head coach

KOLKATA: Mohun Bagan have confirmed the appointment of Khalid Jamil as the new head coach. He takes over from Sankarlal Chakraborty who resigned yesterday, taking the blame for team’s poor performance in ongoing 2018/19 I-League.

“With immense pleasure we wish to inform you that Mr. Khalid Jamil has been appointed as the new Head Coach of Mohun Bagan Senior Football Team for remainder of 2018-2019 football season.” a club statement read.

With Mohun Bagan in desperate need in a change of fortunes, Jamil could well be the man they will be looking for, as the Mumbaikar will hope to bring his experience to the fore and lead the team to better results.

Nonetheless, his appointment will raise eyebrows. Having guided Aizawl FC to their maiden I-League triumph, Jamil was roped in amid fanfare with a two-year contract by East Bengal last season. However, at the end of the season East Bengal sacked Jamil after he failed to live up to the club’s expectations with one year left on his contract.

Players who serve under Jamil praise him for his technical astuteness and in-depth knowledge of all players in the I-League.

However, the coach’s fiery, many would say erratic, personality, and run-ins with administrators, match officials and sometimes his own players have often been his downfall at clubs.

Jamil’s first assignment will be a home tie against Minerva Punjab on Wednesday.

Khalid Jamil offered coach’s role at Mohun Bagan

KOLKATA: Mohun Bagan are understood to be on the verge of appointing Khalid Jamil as their new head coach for the remainder of the season.

Mohun Bagan head coach position became vacant when Sankarlal Chakraboty stepped down yesterday, taking the blame for team’s poor performance in ongoing 2018/19 I-League.

Although there has been no word on this development from Mohun Bagan management, a source close to both parties has informed IndiaFooty that Khalid is in advanced talk with the club and he is interested in making the move.

With Mohun Bagan in desperate need in a change of fortunes, Khalid could well be the man they will be looking for, as the Mumbaikar will hope to bring his experience to the fore and lead the team to better results.

At this point, it remains to be seen whether Khalid, who was previously linked with Mohammedan Sporting Club post, will take on a job in Mohun Bagan, but he is certainly keen on the idea of doing so.

Having spent seven seasons as the head coach of Mumbai FC – and the rest of his coaching career in Aizawl FC and East Bengal, Khalid looks to be eager to expand his horizons by making a move to Kolkata once again if an opportunity presents itself.

Gift Raikhan quits struggling Aizawl FC

AIZAWL: IndiaFooty can confirm that Gift Raikhan has resigned as head coach of Aizawl FC.

The former Neroca FC coach has, for a while now, been frustrated by Aizawl FC’s lack of results in the ongoing 2018/19 I-League, and after they lost 1-0 to Indian Arrows at home on Saturday, it appears that was the final straw for Raikhan, who handed in his resignation.

“I have hugely enjoyed my time in Aizawl, taking over after a difficult 2017/18 season and rebuilding the squad to win Mizoram Premier League after three years. However, we did not get the desired results in I-League. And for that, I am the only one responsible. I think it’s the right time for me move on,” Raikhan told IndiaFooty.

Aizawl FC have registered just two wins from their 11 games, and are currently in tenth position on the I-League standings.

Sankarlal Chakraborty steps down as Mohun Bagan coach

KOLKATA: Sankarlal Chakraborty has resigned as head coach of Mohun Bagan following a 2-1 defeat at the hands of Real Kashmir FC at home on Sunday.

“It is the right time to take responsibility on my shoulders and move way from the club,” Sankarlal said in the post match press conference.

Nonetheless, Sankarlal will continue for next two matches, to be played on 9th and 12th January against Minerva Punjab and Neroca FC respectively, as he wants to give Mohun Bagan officials some time to find his replacement.

Having joined the Mariners as their head coach in January last year, following Sanjoy Sen’s resignation, Sankarlal has been lauded for the team’s improved performances in the second half of the season, and the kind of enterprising football the side has been playing.

However, Chakraborty came under fire this season after Mohun Bagan won just four of 11 matches, leaving them sixth in the I-League standings, nine points behind leaders Chennai City FC.

Sankarlal’s resignation will be welcomed by many Mohun Bagan fans who have called for his resignation in recent days.

I-League 2018/19: Anthony Wolfe brace propels Churchill Brothers to third

Vasco Da Gama, Goa, Saturday, January 5, 2019: Churchill Brothers made it two wins in a row after Anthony Wolfe scored a second-half brace at the Tilak Maidan in Vasco Da Gama, to help the Red Machines climb to the third spot on the 2018/19 I-League table on Saturday.

Wolfe was adjudged Hero of the Match for his efforts from the bench.

With this win, Churchill have posted 19 points on the board, and are one ahead of Real Kashmir. However, the Red Machines have played one game extra, and the side from the northern-most state of India can reclaim the third spot if they can notch up three points against Mohun Bagan at the Yuba Bharati Krirangan in Kolkata on Sunday.

Meanwhile, defending Champions Minerva Punjab remained on the seventh position, with 13 points from 11 games (3 wins, 4 draws, 4 losses).

The match got off on a rather drab note, with both the sides choosing not to reveal all their cards right away. However, Minerva gaffer Paul Munster changed the tempo of the game by bringing on Japanese attacker Yu Koboki in place of his compatriot Hitova Ayemi on the 35th minute.

Koboki immediately looked to impact the game, as he initiated a couple of quick attacks towards the fag end of the first half. On the 44th minute, he was laid-off by midfielder Akash Sangwan inside the box but was crowded out, before Churchill keeper James Kithan collected the ball.

A couple of minutes later, the Japanese attacker again combined with William Opoku, but Koboki was flagged offside.

Changing over to the second half, Churchill boss Petre Gigiu gave it 10 minutes, before bringing on his super-sub Anthony Wolfe. The Trinidadian forward wasted no time and put the Red Machines ahead on the 61st minute.

The 35-year-old put Churchill’s three points beyond doubt with just six minutes of regulation time left on the clock, when he slotted a penalty to the left of Minerva keeper Bhaskar Roy.

After a great start to the season, Gigiu’s side had suffered somewhat of a slump, when they dropped six points in four matches. However, the Red Machines seem to have bounced back with two wins on the trot, and will now be raring to go against Gokulam in their next match.

Meanwhile, its dark days for Minerva, as they have picked up only two points in their last four matches. Although the defending champions are just three points from the top half of the table, they are also slipping dangerously close to the drop zone.

I-League 2018/19: Mohun Bagan ride Henry Kisekka strike to down Minerva

Chandigarh, December 19, 2018: Kolkata giants and former champions Mohun Bagan rode on a 79th minute classy strike by Henry Kisekka to put get three points against defending champions Minerva Punjab FC at the Tau Devi Lal stadium in Panchkula.

The ‘Green and Maroon’ brigade displayed amazing resilience to put shrugg off a defeat just 70 hours back to arch rivals East Bengal, to dominate proceedings and pull off an important away win.

The win moves them up to sixth on the table with 12 points from eight games, while Minerva are now on seventh with the same number of points from nine games played.

The champions made a couple of changes to their starting line-up bringing in Arshdeep under the bar in place of Bhaskar Roy who had played their last game against Chennai City. Thoiba Singh also sat out in a midfield swap with Jagpreet.

Mohun Bagan brought in Gurjinder at centre-back to replace Nigerian Eze Kinglsey who was sent off in the last game against East Bengal.

The first half was scratchy at best but Bagan were clearly in the ascendency with Japanese Yuta Kinowaki in the defensive midfield position and Ugandan forward Henry Kisekka in particular, having an excellent first 45 minutes. Yuta intercepted most of the second balls in his half and Kisekka, playing from the left, was busy penetrative and creating most of the chances.

Cameroonian striker Dipanda Dicka hit the Minerva upright as early as the second minute of the game after he cut in between two defenders inside the box to stab the ball past Arshdeep. Dicka did manage to find the net as well after a lovely give-and-go with Kisekka, which saw him beat Arshdeep. But the Ugandan had already been called out by the linesman for offside.

Five minutes before the half-time whistle Egyptian medio Omar El Hussieny hit the underside of the bar from a wonderfully taken free-kick, but the ball bounced off the line to be cleared by the Minerva defence. In between, both Kisekka and Dicka had muffed up at least three chances between them.

Minerva did not have a single shot on goal in the first half.

Bagan began the second half just as they had in the first. Omar was beginning to have more impact on the game and everytime the ball went to Kisekka, he looked threatening.

But it was Dicka again with the early chance, just two minutes into the half when a wonderfully weighted cross from the right by Arijit Bagui presented an opportunity of a free-header but the Cameroonian failed to connect.

Both coaches rang in the changes. Minerva’s Paul Munster introduced fresh and young legs in Makan Winkle Chothe and Moinuddin Khan in place of Yu Kuboki and Jagpreet Singh for a final push to snatch a winner but could not make much headway.

Bagan coach Sankarlal Chakraborty went for Shekh Faiaz in place of Azharuddin Mallick, just as he had done in the last game.

It was in the 79th minute that Bagan and Kisekka were finally rewarded for their persistence. Omar threaded in a peach of a through ball, releasing Kisekka inside the Minerva box on the left. To the Ugandan’s credit, he drew his marker further away from the goal and then unleashed a thunderous left-footer from a very narrow angle to beat Arshdeep and bulge the net.

It was a goal worthy of a winner and Bagan held on till the last four minutes of additional time to register a win after three games.

I-League 2018/19: Minerva Punjab take on Mohun Bagan in a battle of strugglers

Chandigarh, December 18, 2018: Defending Champions Minerva Punjab take on former champions Mohun Bagan on Wednesday, December 19, 2018, at Tau Devi Lal Stadium in Panchkhula.

The 44th match of the 2018/19 I-League is scheduled for a 2 PM start. Both teams have found the going tough in the current season, with the champions finding goals hard to come by while Mohun Bagan are failing to cross the line in their matches.

As a result, Minerva find themselves in the fifth place on the points table with 12 points from eight games while the Kolkata giants have played a game less for their nine points and are in the eighth position.

The champions have bolstered their squad along the way with Irish coach Paul Munster obviously looking to plug gaps. They have brought in Nigerians Bala Dahir and Donatus Edafe as well as Ivorian Kouassi Kouame to strengthen their midfield and attack.

Japanese striker Yu Kuboki also started his first game in Minerva’s previous encounter against Chennai City after not featuring in any of their first seven games due to injury. Colombian defender Jorge Ivan Caicedo Rodriguez is their latest signing to beef up the defence.

Minerva clearly start favourites given they have notched up two wins in their last three games while Bagan have lost two and drawn one going into Thursday’s game.

Paul Munster seemed to suggest just that on the eve of the match. He said, “This game is massive. In our last game we got a clean sheet. This is where we have to take our chances. In our last game we got many chances but now we have to convert them.

“We can’t say anything about the result. We just have to look forward. This game is all about the better team who will win the game. It’s a massive game for us,” said Munster.

Mohun Bagan, on the other hand, have been having injury woes with star winger Sony Norde of Haiti missing out on the ‘Kolkata Derby’ loss against arch-rivals East Bengal in the last game. Talented young winger Pintu Mahata has also been sidelined due to injury and so has Sukhdev Singh, the former Minerva defender whose recruitment was cleared recently.

Coach Sankarlal betrayed signs of both desperation and frustration on the match-day eve, when he said, “We won’t say that we are not playing good. We are playing well but not being able to gather three points. We are trying our level best. Yes, we have lost two-three but the team mentally and physically are active,” said Sankarlal.

“When the team travels there is a mental impact. We have come here to collect three points and we have to get three points anyhow. Mohun Bagan is always charged up for new challenges. Kudos to Minerva for playing great football in the last few matches,” he said.

Minerva have conceded just five but also scored just six. Mohun Bagan, on the other hand, have scored nine but conceded 10 and are going to miss their defensive bulwark Eze Kingsley on Thursday, as the Nigerian was sent off for a second bookable offence against arch-rivals East Bengal on Sunday. Their only silver lining being two–time Hero I-League top scorer Dipanda Dicka being in form with four goals so far including a super strike against the Red and Golds.

It will be the Cameroonian Dicka against the miserly Minerva defence on one hand, while a wobbly Mohun Bagan defence will try to keep a bolstered Minerva attack at bay. All in all, an absorbing encounter on the cards.

Mohammedan Sporting in talks with former East Bengal midfielder

KOLKATA: Mohammedan Sporting Club are reportedly in talks with former East Bengal midfielder Mahmoud Al Amna for the forthcoming 2018/19 2nd Division League.

A source close to the club has revealed to IndiaFooty that talks are underway between Amna’s representative and Mohammedan Sporting officials about securing his services, however, the club have vowed not to break the bank for the Syrian.

The 35-year-old was recently parted ways with East Bengal by mutual consent after he failed to recover from his injury, sustained during East Bengal’s pre-season in Malaysia and was out of action since the beginning of the 2018/19 I-League. However, it appears like Amna has found a new home in Kolkata.

Although Amna has claimed in a recent interview that he is close to regaining his fitness, we have learnt that to earn a contract at Mohammedan Sporting, he will have to go though a complete medical and physical fitness test.

The Black Panthers have been rather quite in the recent past but reports surfaced that the management have been working silently but tirelessly to beef up the squad. The club have already signed Nigerian striker Eze Stanley from Calcutta Customs.

I-League 2018/19: Gokulam hold Churchill to a 1-1 draw

Kozhikode: Churchill Brothers were held to a 1-1 draw by Gokulam Kerala FC in their 2018/19 I-League encounter at the EMS Corporation Stadium in Kozhikode on Friday.

On the balance of play, Gokulam will feel they should have sneaked it as they dominated proceedings and created better goal-scoring chances in front of their home fans.

Nonetheless, It was a result that fairly reflected an absorbing encounter as Churchill were held to a fourth draw in six matches this season, although they are still unbeaten.

Gokulam had a few promising moments early on, but were kept in check by Churchill’s defence of Hussein El Dor and Nenad Novakovic.

It was at the other end, however, where the opening goal arrived, and it was Trinidadian forward Willis Plaza who slotted a right footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom right corner to give Churchill the lead in the 5th minute.

The early setback galvanised Gokulam into action and they poured forward in search of an equaliser. The Churchill defence, while under pressure at this stage, held firm and ensured that they retained the advantage.

But the pressure eventually told and it was Arjun Jayaraj who scored from Christian Sabah’s pass in the 36th minute to level the scoreline.

Five minutes before the break, Gokulam went close via a free-kick from Antonio German, but the Churchill defence was able to avert the danger as the both teams went into the break locked at 1-1.

The second-half was more of the same with Gokulam creating most of the chances, while Churchill looked to pounce on the counter.

Four minutes into the session, the home side had a great chance to take the lead when German played in Rajesh S, but the striker ballooned the effort over the bar. In the 60th minute, Sabah had another chance to score for Gokulam, but struck his shot into the side-netting.

Churchill, though, were always dangerous on the break and, in the 74th minute, they had a wonderful opportunity, but Gokulam goalkeeper Shibinraj Kunniyil saved to deny Dawda Ceesay from scoring.

In the final minutes there was end to end action as German forced a good save from Churchill custodian James Kithan in the 84th minute.

Then in the 89th minute Churchill almost capitalised from another quick break which saw Plaza breaking free on the right, but he failed to grab his brace and a late winner as he dragged his shot wide of the far post.

Following the draw, Churchill remain on second position with 10 points from 6 matches while Gokulam on third with 9 points from 6 matches.