The twenty-sixth and last Round of matches of the I-League 2010/11 were played from May 28 to 31 across India. Salgaocar confirmed their I-league with a 2-0 away win in Ludhiana, while Dempo scored a record 14-0 win against Air India in Goa.
Round 26 Match by Match Short Review
28-May-2011: HAL, Bangalore 1-1 (0-0) East Bengal Club (in Bangalore)
Relegation threatened HAL drew one-all against East Bengal Club at the new artificial turf at the Bangalore Football Stadium to end the Kolkata giants dream of winning the I-League title. HAL remain bottom of the league with 21 points from 25 matches, while East Bengal now have 48 points with one match to go.
East Bengal looked the better of the two sides in the first session, but HAL held their ground with especially their goalkeeper P Pramod having a good game. After the break HAL looked the better side, but this time around East Bengal's seasoned keeper Sandip Nandy was in the way. Against the run of play East Bengal took a 76th minute lead through substitute Ravinder Singh, but HAL captain Xavier Vijayakumar would equalise to deny the red-and-gold the much needed three points.
29-May-2011: Chirag United SC 1-1 (0-1) Viva Kerala (in Kolkata)
Chirag United SC and Viva Kerala played out a one-all draw in Kolkata. The men in purple now have 29 points from 25 matches, while Viva Kerala ensured their I-League status after finishing with 27 points from 26 matches.
The story of the match is quickly told as two Indian internationals would score after the break. Viva Kerala would take a 47th minute lead through N.P. Pradeep, while striker Sunil Chhetri would equalise for Chirag United in the 81st minute.
31-May-2011: Churchill Brother SC 2-3 (1-1) Pune FC (in Goa)
Churchill Brother SC ended their I-League campaign on a low with a 2-3 defeat at the hands of Pune FC at home in Goa. Meanwhile Pune FC ended their season as fifth with 36 points from 26 matches, while Churchill Brothers SC are currently third with 50 points from the same number of games.
With nothing much to play for the two sides played an open, attacking match. FC took a fifth minute lead through a Mandjou Keita shot, but as one would expect Odafe Onyeka Okolie was the danger man for the Goans in the first session though he would only get the equaliser in injury time. After the break Churchill Brothers kept up the pressure and went ahead through Odafe in the 75th minute and only two minutes later Othallo Tabia was send off, it seemed PFC were beaten. But they pressed on with Kamaljeet Kumar heading in a free-kick four minutes from time and again Mandjou Keita would seal a memorable 3-2 victory for Pune.
30-May-2011: ONGC 2-2 (2-0) Mumbai FC (in Kolhapur)ONGC were held to a two-all draw by Mumbai FC in a local derby away from Mumbai at the Sahu Maharaj Ground in Kolhapur. With this draw ONGC end their campaign on 24 points from 26 matches, while Mumbai FC finish on 34 points.
The Oilmen made a quick start into the game with N.D. Opara giving them a 7th minute lead from a penalty. His team mate Badmus Babatunde would make it 2-0 in the 36th minute and NGC seemed to be heading for a crucial win in their final league match. But after the break Mumbai FC would get back into the game with Sampath Kumar Kuttymani scoring in the 65th minute, while international striker Abhishek Yadav equalised in the 75th minute. And it remained two-all until the very end.
30-May-2011: Dempo SC 14-0 (4-0) Air India (in Goa)
Dempo SC scored the biggest ever win in the history of the I-League/National Football League by trashing Air India 14-0! But still the win didn't help Dempo to defend their I-League title as they moved to 50 points from 25 matches, while Air India finished their 26 match campaign on 24 points.
The fans at the Nehru Stadium in Margao watched a match where numerous new records were set, but at half-time it didn't look like it could head where it finally did as Dempo where only leading 4-0 and went on to score 10 goals in the second session. Nigerian striker Ranty Martins Soleye was the stand-out with seven goals as he scored in the 35th, 43rd, 48th, 61st, 67th, 78th and 84th minutes. The other goal scorers were Roberto Mendes Silva (54th, 68th, 90+3), Peter Carvalho (41st, 59th), Climax Lawrence (45th) and Clifton Gonsalves (90th)
29-May-2011: Indian Arrows 5-4 (4-1) Mohun Bagan AC (in Gurgaon)
The Indian Arrows won a nine goal thriller against Mohun Bagan AC 5-4 at the Tau Devi Lal Sports Complex in Gurgaon. The Indian Arrows ended their inaugural I-League season on 29 points and in 9th place, while Mohun Bagan ended their disappointing campaign as sixth and with 34 points from 26 matches.
The Arrows had a great first half with Jeje Lalpekhlua scoring the opening goal in the 9th minute before Shilton D'Silva added a brace in the 18th and 23rd minute while Jeje made it 4-0 in only the 25th minute. A big defeat seemed on hands for Mohun Bagan, but the green-and-maroon scored their first goal through striker Chidi Edeh in the 42nd minute. After the break Subair Muritala Ali would get twice onto the score-sheet in the 57th and 78th minute to reduce the deficit to 3-4 and it seemed as if Mohun Bagan could score a remarkable comeback, but Jeje would win the match in the 87th minute making the 5-3 but Muritala would reduce the deficit in the last minute of the match to complete hattricks for both Jeje and Muritala.
30-May-2011: JCT 0-2 (0-1) Salgaocar SC (in Ludhiana)
Salgaocar SC won their final match of the season 2-0 against JCT to seal their first I-League title. For the Goans it is their second overall national league title as they finished the season on 56 points from 26 matches, while JCT finished on disappointing 24 points from the same number of matches.
JCT needed the points themselves in the relegation battle so they wanted to keep the points in Ludhiana, but Salgaocar took a 13th minute lead through a Francis Fernandes goal. And seasoned Yakubu Yusif sealed the win and the title with an 85th minute goal.
Click here for the 4th I-League 2010/11 - League Table & Fixtures .