The recently-concluded competition was lit up by a few very good individual performances.
Football in India has returned, as the recently concluded I-League Qualifiers saw five teams taking on each other for the one free spot in the upcoming 2020-21 I-League. The round-robin competition ended last week, with Kolkata giants Mohammedan Sporting Club returning to I-League for the first time since 2015, by registering three wins and a draw in four games.
The I-League Qualifiers were lit up by a few very good displays and today, Khel Now takes a look at the look at top five performers of the competition:
5. Hira Mondal (Mohammedan SC)
Hira Mondal primarily plays in the right-back and centre-back positions, but in the I-League Qualifiers he was made to play as a left-back. Despite that, the 24-year-old had an impressive outing in the tournament, as he contributed to the offensive as well as the defensive aspect of the game in his makeshift position. In the two games in which he featured for the Black Panthers, he also helped them seal two clean-sheets.
4. Eze Kingsley (Mohammedan SC)
The Nigerian centre-back was an absolute rock at the back for Mohammedan. Kingsley featured in three of the four games in Mohammedan’s I-League Qualifiers 2020 campaign and the team managed to get a clean-sheet in each of them.
He acted as the leader of their defence and his best performance came against Garhwal FC in the first game, where he got the better of their dynamic striker Victor Philip on numerous occasions.
3. Abhishek Rijal (Mohammedan SC)
The Nepal international winger featured in three games for the Black Panthers. However, his biggest contribution came in the second game, where the Kolkata giants ran riot against Ahmedabad-based ARA FC. The 20-year-old scored a brace in that game, which was played at the iconic Salt Lake Stadium.
Abhishek was also one of the high-profile signings made by the Black Panthers and had previously represented Manang Marshyangdi in the AFC Cup 2019.
2. Pankaj Moula (Bhawanipore FC)
Pankaj Moula was one of the most experienced faces at Bhawanipore FC. The 27-year-old has represented Kolkata giants Mohun Bagan 16 times in the I-League.
In the I-League Qualifiers, the Indian striker scored one goal each against FC Bengaluru United and ARA. Bhawanipore scored six goals in the tournament and four of them came through the strike duo of Philip Adjah and Moula. Moula often played the role of a second striker and fought for the second ball, with Adjah playing as a target man.
1. Philip Adjah (Bhawanipore FC)
The former NEROCA FC man was the focal point of attack for Bhawanipore FC and scored two goals in four games for the Sankarlal Chakraborty-led side. In his first game against Bengaluru United, the Ghanian scored a wonder goal from a tight angle and in the second against Garhwal, he beat the goalkeeper to slot in.
Unfortunately, the lanky striker’s contribution wasn’t enough for the side, as they missed out on promotion after suffering a 2-0 loss against local rivals and his former employers Mohammedan in the third game.