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Krylia Sovetov
Krasnodar
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Five surprise picks in India's probables for four-nation tournament

What do two near-rookies, one Spain-trained striker from Kerala, one of the best performers in domestic football over the past season, and a goalkeeper who has effectively just had 172 minutes of competitive football have in common?

They are five of the left-of-field picks by India coach Stephen Constantine, who announced a 30-member squad of probables for the four-nation international tournament -- featuring hosts India, Kenya, New Zealand and Chinese Taipei -- that Mumbai is likely to host in June,...

How the I-League's dramatic final day unfolded

A first-half goal from William Opoku earned Minerva a 1-0 win over Churchill Brothers, helping them seal the title on the final day.
Minerva celebrate winning the I-League

With four teams in title contention at the start Thursday, the final day of the I-League was not short on drama. Here's a recap of how things unfolded.

3pm: Kick-off

Minerva began in pole position, their 32 points putting them ahead of NEROCA (31), Mohun Bagan (30) and East Bengal (30). It meant they just needed a win to put the other three out of contention.

3:15pm: Opoku puts Minerva ahead

William Opoku scored the first goal of the day in Panchkula, taking advantage of some slack defending from...

Mohun Bagan's intent shines through in entertaining derby win

Asier Dipanda Dicka celebrates his goal against East Bengal.
Asier Dipanda Dicka celebrates his goal against East Bengal.

Mohun Bagan's entertaining 2-0 win over East Bengal on Sunday featured one of the fastest Kolkata derby goals ever, with Cameroonian Asier Dipanda Dicka scoring inside 57 seconds of kick-off. Dicka got his second through a sweet volley off a corner that saw him airborne for a short while as he connected. The match also witnessed a first-half goal by East Bengal's Willis Plaza disallowed as Katsumi Yusa's corner was deemed to have cut the backline.

East BengalEast Bengal
Mohun BaganMohun Bagan
0
2
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East Bengal's second defeat of the season (both...

Laldanmawia Ralte, Chencho Gyeltshen I-League's standout players so far

Dheeraj Singh tries to make a save against Minerva Punjab.
Dheeraj Singh attempts a save against Chencho

About a month into the new season, Minerva Punjab and Shillong Lajong are the surprise leaders in the I-League, closely followed by Kolkata clubs Mohun Bagan and East Bengal. While champions Aizawl FC are sixth, debutants NEROCA have also impressed, especially with their away form. Here are five standout players from the first month of the league.

Chencho Gyeltshen (Winger, Minerva Punjab)

The 21-year-old 'Bhutanese Ronaldo' has been pivotal in Minerva's unbeaten start, which has put them three...

Meet Bapi Maji, Kolkata's ultimate football fan

Mohun Bagan fan Bapi Maji with his family
Bapi Maji with his family

The story ideally should have gone like this: turn up at a teashop in Paikpara, North Kolkata, one evening, watch owner Bapi Maji serve tea under a yellow glow and hear football stories into the night. Except it had bucketed down that evening, diverting planes, knocking traffic out of gear, ripping out advertising hoardings. But under the flat light of a normal tomorrow, with the tea shop shut, the story of one of the most implausible lives in Indian football remained. Two lives actually, a man...

I-League set to kick off under Indian Super League's shadow

Aizawl FC celebrate their 2016-17 I-League title
Aizawl FC celebrate their 2016-17 I-League title

Ever since it began three seasons ago as a month-long 'festival of football', the Indian Super League has steadily eaten into the relevance previously enjoyed by the I-League - for long the undisputed top league in India. This year the ISL secured the right to be held as a 'proper' league over four months. With it - it won over most of the country's best Indian footballers and poached an I-League club as well. And while the I-League was thrown a bone by being telecast on Star Sports, the juiciest...