The showdowns continued in the second round of the Calcutta Football League.
The thrilling action continued in the second week of the Calcutta Football League (CFL), which saw some thrilling showdowns, with Mohun Bagan retaining their position at the top of the table. While the Mariners look to be in good form, they have some surprising contenders hot on their heels and need to be wary of East Bengal, who bounced back from the draw against Calcutta Customs, with a terrific win over Pathacharka.
There were some interesting discoveries made during the entertaining week of football and we take a look at five talking points from the second week.
5. Can Mohammedan’s narrow victories help them lodge surprise title challenge?
It’s quite evident that Mohammedan Sporting have not been convincing in their games so far and after winning both their matches by narrow 1-0 margins, it seems like vast improvement is needed in their game. The relatively new squad is still gelling together, but something Raghu Nandi has done is to instil a winning mentality in the team.
Despite the setback against Aryan, Mohammedan have shown the ability to win games late on and are in the third position in the CFL table. If they can manage to win their games by such narrow margins and luck goes their way, we could see Mohammedan being the surprise title challengers and pose a threat to the favorites.
4. Peerless riding on Ansumana Kromah’s brilliance in attaining surprising success
If someone was to predict that Peerless SC would be in the top five in the CFL in the early weeks, they would have been ridiculed, as the club have never had the reputation of being title contenders. While it is to be seen whether or not they can keep up this fabulous form, Peerless have been benefitting immensely from the brilliance of star foreigner Ansumana Kromah. The Liberian midfielder has been pulling the strings perfectly and has been the driving force of the team.
Having already scored two goals and played a part in others, Kromah has been in terrific form and his experience is allowing Peerless to play attractive football and exceed expectations.
3. Aryan Club are the dark-horses this season
Aryan SC have been the real surprise package of the CFL and despite having the ‘minnows’ status, they have already caused some upsetS to record historic wins. Led by astute coach Rajdeep Nandy, Aryan have already defeated Mohammedan Sporting and Tollygunge Agragami and are undefeated in three matches.
Not only that, they are also in third place and despite having a relatively inexperienced squad, they have ousted opposition much stronger than them. They seem to be the dark-horses in the CFL this season and are using their defensive strength to their advantage.
2. Have East Bengal finally put together a solid defense?
East Bengal might have stumbled early in their CFL title defense, but something which looks promising under the new system is their defensive work. They were visibly wobbly in defending under Khalid Jamil, but Subhash Bhowmick seems to have solidified that aspect, with new signings Kamalpreet Singh, Rakshit Dagar and Kinshuk Debnath being solid for them.
All their players are putting in great work in defending and East Bengal seem to be better organized this time around. Their defensive strength will only grow stronger once Jonny Acosta joins the starting lineup and it looks certain that shocking lapses at the back will not be seen much this season.
1. Unique formation not working out for Mohun Bagan
Mohun Bagan have started their season really brightly in the CFL and while they have won all their games so far, there have been some problems underlined in their gameplay. The Mariners have not been the most attractive unit in terms of the style of play and the reason for that is the tinkering with their formation by coach Sankarlal Chakraborty. It seems like Bagan are being set in a 3-5-2 formation, with Arijit Bagui and Abhishek Ambekar operating as wing-backs.
This is not working for them at all and it’s their poor midfield and lack of creativity which is hurting them. The Mariners might be pulling off wins, but need to revert tactics to ensure the CFL returns to them after so many years.