A fine goal from Jerry Mawihmingthanga in the first half helped DSK Shivajians beat East Bengal 1-0 at the Barasat stadium in Kolkata. Shivajians' fourth win of the season also ended any mathematical chance for East Bengal to win the title as they succumbed to their fourth consecutive loss in the league. The result also means that it's now a two-horse race for the I-League title between Aizawl and Mohun Bagan, who meet next week.
Jerry, 20, had one of his best games in a DSK shirt, scoring in the 29th minute after heading in a great cross by Juan Quero. The goal was a perfectly executed move. Quero put a sliced pass into the box that Jerry followed, and with the keeper off his line, he headed it over Subhasish Roy Chowdhury. The goal hurt East Bengal and since then, DSK played with more positive intent.
Subrata Paul also had an excellent game in goal, making vital saves throughout to add to East Bengal's woes.
East Bengal started with an attacking team with Bikash Jairu on the left - playing for the first time in seven months, Robin Singh up front and Jackichand Singh on the wing. East Bengal failed to create any real chances in the first half, but Chris Payne and Robin Singh were always on the prowl. They were much more switched on in the second half, but Subrata's Paul made numerous saves to deny the hosts.
Shivajians are now six points above the drop zone and with just two games to play, they can consider their place in the league safe.
Mumbai and Chennai game ends in a stalemate
Mumbai FC played out a goalless draw against Chennai City at the Cooperage stadium in Mumbai. With their fifth straight home draw, Mumbai are still at the bottom of the table and are in danger of being relegated as things stand.
Mumbai new coach Oscar Bruzon shifted a few personnel and made some changes in formation for this game. He chose to start with Brazilian striker Anderson Da Silva and Thoi Singh in attack in a 4-2-3-1.
The home team were the side who started on the front foot. They troubled the Chennai defence consistently, but lacked any real punch to get the opening goal.
Chennai's keeper Karnajit Singh came under a lot of pressure but made some timely saves to keep the score goalless at the break. Karan Sawhney came closest to goal for Mumbai, wasting two great chances in the opening 45.
In the second half, Mumbai had the real first chance when Alex Silva, with a neat flick, created a clear opportunity for Thoi Singh but Karanjit rushed out to clear the danger. Chennai slowly got into the game and it was Soosai Raj and Charles de Souza who were starting to trouble the Mumbai defence. The away side, however, failed to muster any momentum until the very end of regulation time.
Mumbai almost lost the game when Charles broke through down the right but his flick bounced off the near post. Mumbai survived as the game ended goalless.
With the result, Chennai are in 8th place now and level on points with Churchill brothers and DSK Shivajians with 17. Mumbai are on 12, bottom of the table, level with Minerva Punjab who earlier in the week lost to Mohun Bagan.