The 2015 I-League season was one of the best in the recent history with the title’s final destination being decided in the last five minutes of the season. Mohun Bagan won the league after 13 years, newly promoted Royal Wahingdoh won the fans’ love with their attractive brand of football while three-time winners Dempo were relegated to the second division at the end of the campaign.
Bengaluru fought valiantly till the end but had to be content with the Federation Cup to show for their efforts. Bharat FC were given a direct entry to the I-League as the league was contested among a total of 11 clubs.
Here is a look at Sportskeeda’s team of the 2014-15 I-League season. We have opted for a 4-2-3-1 formation for this team -
Goalkeeper: Debjit Majumder - Mohun Bagan
Clean sheets: 7
Debjit Majumder’s return to the I-League was an eventful one as Mohun Bagan won the league for the first time in 13 years. He played 14 of the 20 games in the season, conceding only 13 goals, keeping 7 clean sheets in the process.
His best performance came against East Bengal in the Kolkata derby, where he made 4 important saves during the game to help Bagan win the derby 1-0. An injury stopped him from making it to the 23-man squad for the World Cup qualifiers for the National team.
Right-back: Pritam Kotal - Mohun Bagan
Clean sheets: 7
Pritam Kotal was a revelation this season, as he exhibited his potential, and missed just two games. It was a surprise when Indian manager Stephen Constantine left him out of the World Cup Qualifiers after having played him in India’s successful qualifying matches against Nepal. While Rino Anto got the nod from Constantine, we decided Kotal’s consistency throughout the season was key to Bagan’s success.
The former Pailan Arrows defender scored two goals during the course of the season as well. His goal in the match against Pune FC in the 77th minute gave Bagan three points which proved crucial at the end of the season. At 21, Kotal definitely has a bright future ahead of him.
Central defender: Bello Rasaq - Mohun Bagan
Clean sheets: 9
Bello Rasaq impressed everyone with his performances and his fitness levels as he was one of the few players who played every minute of every game in this season’s I-League. The hard-tackling defender was instrumental in Mohun Bagan’s successful I-League campaign which makes the fact that he wasn't retained by the club following the conclusion of the season even more surprising. Bagan might rue their decision when he turns up in the Red and Gold of East Bengal.
Rasaq scored only one goal in the entire season, but it came three minutes from the end of the season against Bengaluru FC. The goal meant that Bagan got the draw they needed in Bengaluru to secure the title.
Central Defender: Curtis Osano - Bengaluru FC
Clean sheets: 9
Curtis Osano was one of the main reasons why Bengaluru pushed Mohun Bagan to the very end of the season. His importance to the team was evident when he was suspended for the away game at Mohun Bagan. In Osano’s absence, Bengaluru got thrashed 4-1 by the Kolkata side.
He is the modern day defender, one who doesn't need to get his shorts dirty to win the ball back, due to his excellent reading of the game. Mumbai FC’s Justin Stephen made a strong claim for this position, however, Osano’s calm presence even in a high-pressure situation helped cement his place. He scored one goal in the season in a 3-1 thrashing of Salgaocar.
Left-back: Dhanachandra Singh - Mohun Bagan
Clean sheets: 4
Dhanachandra Singh was another player who impressed this season. In fact, Constantine was so impressed that he gave Singh his first cap for the National side in the World Cup Qualifiers. He had 14 appearances this season scoring 2 goals in the process, a good return for a left-back. Blessed with good stamina, he is capable of playing back to back games without looking out of sorts.
He hit form at the right time of the season scoring an important equalizing goal in the 76th minute against Mumbai in the 17th game week of the I-League and keeping Bagan in the driving seat in the title race.