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— Hero I-League (@ILeagueOfficial) March 9, 2019
— Hero I-League (@ILeagueOfficial) March 9, 2019
FULLTIME ANALYSIS: Well, East Bengal tried their best with an inspired comeback in the 2nd half against GOkulam Kerala, but were unable to go past the force that is Chennai City. Even after going down in the first half Akbar Nawas’ men shows nerves of steel to comeback through Manzi and surprising scorer Gaurav Bora! They’re the newest champions of India and quite possibly the last, with the league set to be discontinued from the next season. However, for now, Chennai City deserve all the applauds for their extraordinary achievement.
07:06 PM: Chennai City are handed the winners check and are spraying celebratory ornaments all over the field. They’ve deserved this for their amazing work throughout the season and the amazing football they’ve produced.
Champions of India! ⚽️????????????@ChennaiCityFC have won their maiden #HeroILeague title, the first top-flight trophy in Tamil Nadu! ????????????????#IndianFootball #CCFCMPFC pic.twitter.com/0wVRw4tMiC
— Khel Now (@KhelNow) March 9, 2019
07:05 PM in Coimbatore: The players are huddled together in the stage and in quite the celebratory mood. Captain Manzi will relish getting his hands in the trophy.
07:03 PM in Coimbatore: The players have brought on banners and flags of their club onto the pitch. The fans look ecstatic. They become the first-ever South Indian to win the I-League and will only help the development of the beautiful game in the region.
7:01 in Coimbatore: Hero of the Match, Gaurav Bora is in tears after the huge achievement. One of the rising defenders in Indian Football, this game is one he’ll never forget.
Both @ChennaiCityFC and @eastbengalfc defeat their respective opponents in @minervapunjabfc and @GokulamKeralaFC but the southerners go on to win the @ILeagueOfficial title!#IndianFootball #CCFCMPFC #GKFCQEB #HeroILeague pic.twitter.com/WW1K4qwsIw
— Khel Now (@KhelNow) March 9, 2019
06: 59 PM in Coimbatore: CHENNAI CITY ARE THE CHAMPIONS OF INDIA! Akbar Nawas is on his knees after pulling off the unthinkable. The players are in raptures, Edwin Vanspual is crying on the floor with joy and Nawas is being hurdled around by his players.
90+6′ in Coimbatore: The fans have been asked not to come into the pitch during the celebrations. However, they are having a blast in the stands and look in high spirits.
FT in Kozhikode: Alejandro Menendez’s Red and Gold Brigade have shown courage and determination to come from behind and win the match against Gokulam Kerala. However, that was not enough as Chennai City have already doubled the lead and are crowned champions of the I-League 2018/19 season.
90+5′ in Coimbatore: A change for the hosts, as Shen Martin Eugene comes in for Josep Kaplan, who receives a huge round of applause from the fans.
90+4′ Coimbatore: Chennai City FC win the game in the most Chennai City FC manner. They come from behind and are minutes away from lifting the trophy they deserve. Gaurav Bora, the man nurtured by Akbar Nawas rises up when they needed him the most.
90+3′ in Coimbatore: GOOOALL! BORA SCORES ONCE MORE! Another fantastic corner from Sandor meets the defender’s head, which blasts into the goal. That’s game, set and championship for the South Indian side.
90+4 in Kozhikode: East Bengal have done their job at the EMS Corporation stadium against Gokulam. But their fate is in the hands of Chennai City, who are leading the tie against Minerva Punjab.
90+2′ in Coimbatore: CHANCE! A brilliant maurauding run by Edwin sees him pass it cleverly to Manzi inside the box, but the forward’s shot is saved by Nidhin. Almost a 3rd!
90+1′ in Coimbatore: Five minutes of added time is added. Can Chennai City hold onto their lead?
90+3′ in Kozhikode: Six minutes have been added, as East Bengal fans are praying to the Footballing Gods to overturn the score in Coimbatore between Chennai City and Minerva. It is the Southerners who are leading the fixture and are on the verge of being champions.
90′ in Coimbatore: OOF! Minerva almost sneaks in an equalizer. They take a promising corner which isn’t cleared away by Boerchio and the rebound shot from Sreyas goes just wide.
89′ in Coimbatore: Brilliant work from Vijay! The substitute becomes a one-man army for the hosts, nutmegging a defender before taking a shot which goes straight to Nidhin.
90′ in Kozhikode: Dagar is down with a head injury as the medical team is attending the goalkeeper. He has been superb for the visitors right from the start.
86′ in Coimbatore: Absolute scrambling defending by Chennai City. They are putting their bodies on the line to keep out Minerva from penetrating in the box.
88′ in Kozhikode: CHANCE FOR GOKULAM! As Joseph again gets in behind the defenders but a brave Rakshit Dagar plunged to grab the ball, hurting himself in the process. Its a yellow card for Joseph!
84′ in Coimbatore: East Bengal have taken the lead against Gokulam! Chennai now needs to see off the remaining minutes carefully or risk losing it all.
85′ in Kozhikode: GOAL FOR EAST BENGAL!! Danmawia’s first-time header was saved by Arnab following a cross from Jaime Santos. But the winger was aware scored from the rebound. 1-2 for East Bengal!
84′ in Kozhikode: CHANCE FOR EAST BENGAL! As Toni Dovale’s cross finds Danmawia in the box. But the winger again heads it wide above the target.
81′ in Coimbatore: CHANCE! MANZI HITS THE BAR! A brilliant corner is taken by Sandro, meeting Manzi’s powerful header which hits the upright and falls kindly for Nidhin.
82′ in Kozhikode: It looks to be a nail bitting finish to the season as both sides giving their all to grab the league title. East Bengal are on the charge looking for the winning goal.
78′ in Coimbatore: Vijay almost makes an instant impact after coming on. He does really well to go past the defender on the right and drift into the box, but cannot make the killer pass to Manzi.
77′ in Coimbatore: Chennai City make their substitution, with Vijay coming on for Romario Jesuraj.
79′ in Kozhikode: GOAL FOR EAST BENGAL!! Jaime Santos scores from the spot and keeps East Bengal in the title race.
76′ in Coimbatore: Minerva make their final change, with Harminder Singh coming in for Juan Quero.
78′ in Kozhikode: PENALTY FOR EAST BENGAL. Arnab Das Sarma clattered into Gagandeep awarding a penalty to the visitors.
75′ in Coimbatore: Chennai City have taken more cautious approach now. They are aiming to run down the clock, as a win will do it for them regardless of the East Bengal result.
76′ in Kozhikode: Double Change for East Bengal as Bali Gagandeep and Toni Dovale coming on for Brandon Vanlalremdika and Enrique Esqueda. Weird change considering Esqueda’s late goalscoring form.
72′ in Coimbatore: Minerva Punjab make another change, with Moinuddin Khan coming in for Makhan Chothe.
74′ in Kozhikode: Is the pressure getting the better off the East Bengal players? As it stands it will Chennai City who will be crowned champions.
71′ in Coimbatore: Well, well, well. How the tides have turned in the last 20 minutes in the I-league. Chennai City have come back from behind again and have their hands on the title with East Bengal trailing at East Bengal. Queue the celebrations!
71′ in Kozhikode: CHANCE for East Bengal, as Didika’s excellent pass freed Danmawia but the Mizo winger failed to hit the target. It was their best chance to get on level terms.
68′ in Coimbatore: GOALLL!! CHENNAI CITY TAKE THE LEAD! A brilliant corner is sent in by Sandro and Gaurav Bora thumps it in. 2-1!
70′ in Kozhikode: GOAL FOR GOKULAM!! Marcus Joseph again proves why he is their talisman. The Carribean forward gets ahead of the defenders and slots it past Dagar. 1-0!
67′ in Coimbatore: GREAT SAVE FROM BOERCHIO! Minerva move through the right pretty well, before breaking into the box but Chothe’s shot is saved by the Italian’s feet.
66′ in Kozhikode: Chullova’s ambitious effort from range is managed comfortably by Arnab.
64′ in Coimbatore: The Warriors have curbed up into a highly defensive unit after conceding. Chennai are dominating possession and have developed that hunger to score after the penalty.
64′ in Kozhikode: East Bengal have finally shown some urgency in attack as the visitors had two huge chances in a span of 2 minutes, as both Didika and Danmawia scuffed it wide.
THE SITUATION: So as things go, Chennai City will be able to win the I-League championship. They are currently on 41 points, while East Bengal are on 40 by drawing against Gokulam Kerala. However, if East Bengal score and the score remains the same In Coimbatore, the Red and Gold Brigaders will be named champions.
61′ in Coimbatore: Kaplan is in a lot of agony after receiving a sliding tackle from Akashdeep. Should’ve been a booking for the Minerva defender!
62′ in Kozhikode: CLOSE!! Didika’s long-range effort almost went in, as Arnab Das Sarma stands helpless. It was a golden opportunity for the visitors to take the lead.
60′ in Coimbatore: CHANCE! The hosts move with pace through the left, as Ajithkumar Kamaraj sends in a great cross which goes past Nidhin Lal, but Manzi can’t head it onto goal. Bad miss!
58′ in Coimbatore: Malfunction in the junction for Chennai City. Quero sends in a looping free-kick from long out, but Mauro Boerchio can’t punch it out and brings down his own defender instead.
59′ in Kozhikode: CHANCE for Gokulam!! Marcus Joseph again runs past Johnny Acosta but his following shot is again wide of the target!
56′ in Coimbatore: GOALL! MANZI MAKES NO MISTAKE! The captain scores his 21st of the season and more importantly equalizes the game with just over 30 minutes to go! 1-1!
55′ in Coimbatore: PENALTY FOR CHENNAI CITY! A horrible handball by Akashdeep in the box sees Santosh Kumar point to the spot.
54′ in Coimbatore: Substitution for Minerva Punjab. Weirdl,y, they take off Roland Bilala, with Sreyas V.G replacing him.
53′ in Coimbatore: WOOF! Edwin Vanspaul gets some space ahead of him after drifting into the middle and let’s rip, but his ambitious shots powers wide of the target.
56′ in Kozhikode: Daniel Addo has been a stalwart in defence for the hosts. He hasn’t allowed Esqueda to make his smart movements in the penalty box.
53′ in Kozhikode: Didika with the freekick but it comes to nothing. Disappointing effort!
50′ in Coimbatore: CLOSE! Minerva Punjab get a golden chance to double their lead. Makhan Chothe does really well to speed away on the right, before playing a clever cross to Quero, who can’t control the ball properly and wastes a great chance.
51′ in Kozhikode: FREEKICK for East Bengal as Monotosh pulls down Samad near the box. The defender gets the first booking of the day.
48′ in Coimbatore: Romario does really well to win the ball outside the box, before Kaplan cleverly plays in the rushing Vanspaul. However, teh right-back’s cross goes sailing out for a throwin.
48′ in Kozhikode: Lovely layoff from Imran Khan for Marcus Joseph, but the forward’s shot sails over the target.
47′ in Coimbatore: Chennai City rececive an early free-kick in the same area MInerva scored tehir goal from. Sandro plays in a ball, which is deflected and eventaully cleared. Protests for a handball but Santosh Kumar waves on.
46′ in Kozhikode: We resume as Alejandro Menendez has played his first card and has brought on Samad Mallick for Manoj Mohammed.
46′ in Coimbatore: The second half kicks-off as Chennai City are attacking from the left-to-right now.
06:01 PM in Coimbatore: Chennai City are being destroyed by their inability to handle pressure so far. Pedro Manzi has tried his best to rally his side forward, but too much frustration has been mounted up by the scuffles of Josep Kaplan and Alexander Romario. Akbar Nawas needs to motivate his outfit into coming out all guns blazing or risk losing out on the title which seemed theirs all season long.
HALF-TIME ANALYSIS: Well what a turn of events this has bee? Minerva Punjab goes into the half with a shocking lead, when Roland’s powerful header rocketed into the net in the 3rd minute. Chennai City have been lacklustre going forward, missing Nestor’s incisiveness in attack.
On the other hand, East Bengal have themselves been very inefficient against a resurgent Gokulam Kerala side. The hosts have had some impressive chances, saved well by Rakshit Dagar. However, if the Chennai City score remains the same East Bengal will become champions if they manage to nick it in the 2nd half. We’ll be back with 2nd half updates from both games soon. Stay tuned, folks!
HT in Coimbatore: The last chance for Chennai City this half, with a lofting cross being sent in through the right for Manzi, but he can’t beat Caicedo for it.
45+2′ in Coimbatore: Frustration is aloof for Chennai City today. Another miss-pass from Romario means that a promising chance is badly scuffed. Akbar Nawas has his work cut-off at the half-time break.
HT in Kozhikode: Scruffy football from both the sides as they fail to string multiple passes and create enough chances. Marcus Joseph has been the only shining light for the hosts as the Carribean forward was the only one who looked like scoring.
45’+1 in Coimbatore: Three minutes of added time is announced after a string of injuries disrupted play.
45′ in Coimbatore: The hosts create a decent move after a string of passes, as Sriram plays in a nice through-ball for Kaplan on the right, but his shot is blocked off valiantly.
44′ in Kozhikode: Corner for Gokulam now as Lalmuankima’s shot gets deflected off Acosta. But comes to nothing as Joseph heads it wide.
42′ in Coimbatore: Close! Manzi does well to hold off challenges and send in a cross into the box, but Kaplan can’t meet his header to it.
41′ in Kozhikode: Corner for East Bengal as Didika Ralte steps up. Comes to nothing, as the ball goes wide of the bar.
40′ in Coimbatore: CLOSE CALL! Minerva Punjab create a well worked moved to the final third, as Mahmoud Al Amna sends in a cross to Roland, who can’t divert his header onto goal and only wins a corner.
39′ in Kozhikode: Chance for Gokulam as Marcus Joseph frees himself in the box and was denied by a plunging Rakshit Dagar. That was close!!
38′ in Coimbatore: Heated scenes as Pedro Manzi is brought down with a crunching tackle from Arashpreet Singh. Manzi reacts badly by shoving him down and gets booked as a result.
36′ in Kozhikode: Both Fabian Vorbe and Arjun Jayaraj have been pillars in the Gokulam midfield as they have kept the likes of Lalrindika Ralte and Jaime Santos quiet till now.
36′ in Coimbatore: And now Nidhin Lal is down in the penalty box after landing awkwardly while trying to collect a high ball.
34′ in Coimbatore: The Chennai City fans have come out in numbers to try and witness this historic achievement. They’ve been left frustrated so far, but are making themselves heard to rally on their side.
33′ in Kozhikode: Scruffy play from both sides as they lose out possession in the midfield. But both the clubs have failed to create clear cut chances in the final third.
31′ in Coimbatore: Chennai City are being frustrated by a stubborn Minerva Punjab defence. That cutting edge is also missing in their game today.
28′ in Kozhikode: Chance for Gokulam! Marcus Joseph gets the better of Johnny Acosta as the forward shot was brilliantly kept out by Dagar.
28′ in Coimbatore: Another injury problem for Minerva Punjab, as Akashdeep Singh goes down in the ground now. He seems to have done his hamstring.
27′ in Kozhikode: East Bengal have enjoyed maximum possession but Alejandro Menendez’s men have failed to create the chances till now.
26′ in Coimbatore: Bit of sloppiness from Romario sees his cross fly over to the other side, but Edwin Vanspaul does well to recover the ball and send in an inviting cross which is held onto well by Nidhin.
25′ in Kozhikode: Jaime Santos and Danmawia Ralte are looking to attack on the counter through the right flank. However, Gokulam defence stands tall. Corner for East Bengal. Didika’s delivery nothing special as Arnab Das Sarma deals with it comfortably.
24′ in Coimbatore: Minerva move forward with vigor, as Roland plays in a clever ball to Quero outside the box. The midfielder whizzes into goal, but cannot get a shot in to threaten the hosts.
22′ in Kozhikode: Marcus Joseph has been a livewire in attack for Gokulam Kerala and is causing all sorts of problems for the East Bengal defenders.
21′ in Coimbatore: Caicedo shows nerves of steel and comes back after looking in pain. However, he concedes a corner, which Manzi can’t divert into goal.
20′ in Kozhikode: Marcus Joseph tries one from a distance as Dagar somehow manages it to keep it away from goal. Worrying sign early on for the visitors!
19′ in Coimbatore: Jorge Caicedo is down for Minerva, and needs to be replaced after suffering a bad knock in a challenge against Romario. Big blow for the visitors!
17′ in Kozhikode: It shelters-skelter here as Arjun Jayaraj’s volley was not grabbed properly by Rakshit Dagar. However, the chance comes to nothing for the host.
17′ in Coimbatore: Manzi gets his first shot on target. The ball is played to the striker, but he can’t position himself well and strikes a weak shot at Nidhin.
16′ in Coimbatore: Nestor’s absence is being felt in Chennai’s game. Kaplan’s been moved out to the right, with Romario moving to the left, but neither have been effective in driving their side forward.
15′ in Kozhikode: Danmawia Ralte looking like a threat for the Gokulam defence as the Mizo winger is getting past the defenders on a number of occasions. However, Monotosh Chaklader somehow manages to clear the ball out of danger.
14′ in Coimbatore: Roland brings down Regin Michael to concede a freekick in a promising position for Sandro. Can the Spaniard get his side level?
11′ in Kozhikode: Gokulam are looking to slow the playdown and are keeping the possession with themselves frustrating East Bengal.
11′ in Coimbatore: The hosts are growing into the game. Manzi recovers possession in the final third before passing it to Sandro Rodriguez, who slips past a man but his left-foot shot goes weakly wide.
9′ in Coimbatore: Michael Soosairaj is in the stands to cheer on his former side. He might not be playing, but is still attached to the club which gave him the spotlight and hopes to celebrate the achievement with them tonight.
8′ in Kozhikode: A great attacking move from East Bengal as Danmawia Ralte again in the middle of everything but fails to hit the target.
7′ in Coimbatore: A good attacking move from the hosts, as Manzi and Josep Kaplan work well to send the latter through the left. He sends in a good cross for Romario Jesuraj, who cannot control the ball and strikes a weak shot out.
6′ in Kozhikode: Gokulam Kerala looking to play some passes to find their feet. However, Danmawia Ralte steals the ball and earns a cheeky corner for the visitors. Missed by everyone in the box!!
5′ in Coimbatore: Chennai City have been rocked by this surprise early goal. Minerva look a confident side and are dominating possession now.
3′ GOOOOAAALLLL!@minervapunjabfc strike first with Roland Bilala.
— Hero I-League (@ILeagueOfficial) March 9, 2019
3′ GOALL! MINERVA PUJAB SCORE! A brilliant free-kick is taken by Juan Quero from the right, as Roland Bilala heads it powerfully on goal.
2′ In Kozhikode: Its a bright start for East Bengal as Jaime Santos’ effort deflected by Md. Irshad. Corner for the visitors.
1′ KICKOFF AT COIMBATORE! Minerva Punjab kickoff the game, moving from the left to right. Chennai are looking to press hard and almost get an instant goal when Sandro moves through the left and plays in Manzi. The captain’s shot is deflected over as Minerva are under pressure.
5:00 PM: The two title-deciding games kick-off with just a point and 180 KMs between them.
4:59 PM in Kozhikode: Some of the East Bengal fans have travelled long distances to support their favourite side as they hope to break the jinx this season after a 15-year long wait. It’s a pretty lively atmosphere here at the EMS Corporation Stadium.
4:57 PM in Coimbatore: Both sides have come into the field and getting ready for the encounter. Chennai City fans look in celebratory mood, something Minerva look to end.
— Hero I-League (@ILeagueOfficial) March 9, 2019
Let the show begin
4:56 PM in Kozhikode: The Red and Gold Brigade are without their talisman Jobby Justin due to his suspension. Despite suffering a late knock against Minera Punjab Enrique Esqueda will be leading the line for East Bengal.
4:55 PM in Coimbatore: Big blow for Chennai City FC as Roberto Eslava picked up an injury in the pre-match training. He’s replaced with Joseph Kaplan.
4:52 PM in Kozhikode: East Bengal are without Kamalpreet Singh who has joined the U23 national camp, young defender Manoj Mohammed replaces him in the starting XI. Gokulam Kerala will be looking at Marcus Joseph in attack as the forward has been in great form.
— Hero I-League (@ILeagueOfficial) March 9, 2019
Just minutes away from the kick-off
4:50 PM in Coimbatore: History awaits Chennai City, who will want to bounce back from the upset against Churchill Brothers and seal the deal at home. They might be missing talisman Nestor Gordillo, yet have enough firepower to pounce on Minerva Punjab’s frailties. The defending champions won’t be handing over their crown that easily and will aim to get something out to help Kolkata side East Bengal’s chances.
4:38 PM- The lineup for the Gokulam Kerala FC Vs Quess East Bengal game is also here. Here is how the teams are going to line up against each other.
Gokulam Kerala FC- Arnab (GK), Irshad, Andre, Daniel, Monotosh, Imran, Arjun, Fabien, Lalmuankima, Marcus, Emmanuel
Substitutions: Shibin Raj (GK), Sanju, Jishnu, Rashid, Pritam, Suhair, Bijesh
Quess East Bengal FC- Dagar (GK), Acosta, Borja, Colado, Esqueda, Aidara, Lalrindika, Laldanmawia, Manoj, Chullova, Brandon
4:32 PM- The lineup for the Chennai City FC Vs Minerva Punjab game is already here. Here is how the teams are going to line up against each other.
Chennai City FC- Mauro B (GK) Edwin S Bora G Eslava R AjithKumar Sriram B Regin M Romario A Sandro R Kaplan J Pedro M (C)
Substitution: Kabir T (GK), Tarif A, Charles A, Vijay N, Shem M, Ranjeet S, Mashoor.
Minerva Punjab FC- Nidhin (GK), Akashdeep, Arashpreet, Caicedo, Sangwan, Amandeep, Kalif, Amna (C), Chothe, Quero, Roland
Substitutions: Bhaskar (GK), Souvik, Thoiba, Prabhjot, Harminder, Sreyas, Moinuddin
4:30 PM- While you’re at it, don’t forget to read the preview of the game as well.
4:25 PM- Chennai City is currently topping the I-League table with 40 points from 19 games, followed by East Bengal who are in the second position with 39 points and same numbers of games played. What is the calculation for each side to win the title this evening? Don’t know? Read here: Battle of the Hour: Chennai City FC or East Bengal FC, who should win the I-League?
4:20 PM- With Jobby Justin and Nestor Gordillo unavailable for the respective sides, East Bengal and Chennai City need to follow a set of patterns to make every minute count against Minerva Punjab and Gokulam Kerala FC. What are these patters?
For Quess East Bengal- Team unity a must as East Bengal’s moment of truth beckons on I-League final day
4:15 PM- Hello everyone, it is a wonderful day so far in India and all the fans are raring to go into the showdown of the I-League’s final day fixtures. An unreal experience nonetheless, this season have been a hitchhiker’s guide for the I-League fans as two teams from different corners of the country go into the field today at the same time- all in contention to win the coveted trophy.
In these two clubs, we have the Kolkata giants Quess East Bengal and the season’s surprise package as well as the table toppers Chennai City FC. Who’s going to come on top? Who’s going to register themselves in the history? Who have what it takes to be called the champions? We’re here to discuss all of it, both the games altogether. This is your host Tushaar Sachdeva, stay tuned to get all updates from the three title deciders.