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I-League 2017/18: Khalid Jamil's focus on next game after winning against Indian Arrows, feels it is 'vital' in the context of the I-League

199   //    05 Feb 2018, 00:11 IST

Khalid Jamil led Aizawl FC to the I-League title last season

Dudu Omagbemi’s late goal towards the end of the match earned East Bengal full points in their I-League tie against Indian Arrows at the Barasaat Stadium on Sunday evening. The win kept their title hopes alive while Coach Khalid Jamil feels that the match against Minerva Punjab FC will be vital and could decide the fate of the I-League.

During the post-match conference, the I-League winning coach said, “Next match is very important for us. It is a vital match. Going to Ludhiana and playing against Minerva Punjab FC is a challenge.”

Indian Arrows put up a spirited show once again as they almost ended East Bengal’s titles hopes at the Barasaat Stadium on Sunday evening. Although the hosts had the upper hand throughout the game, yet they failed to score until the 93rd minute of the match.

East Bengal went back to winning ways exactly after the month as their last victory in an I-League tie was back on January 2 against the same opponents. The red and gold brigade is back in the title race but Khalid is not jumping into conclusions, rather he is focused on the next game against the impressive Minerva Punjab FC side which can be a virtual title decider.

He also lauded the players for the win and admitted the result was an outcome of their hard work. “We played as a team today. The players never gave up till the end. The win is a result of their hard work. This is a comeback match for us, winning after so many days (1 month),” said Jamil.

East Bengal will travel to Ludhiana for their most important game of the season; it will decide whether their I-League dreams remain alive till the end. With 23 points from 13 matches, they are currently at the third place in the standings. They are scheduled to play Minerva Punjab FC on February 13.

With NEROCA FC climbing to the top of the table displacing Minerva Punjab FC, the I-League is wide open. East Bengal is behind them while Mohun Bagan is also breathing on their shoulders. To sum it up, any of the above four teams can win the title which will make the business end of the I-League even more interesting.

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A sports lover par excellence. Keeping track of sports-related events around the world is my passion, addiction, and would like to take it up as a profession. India locking horns with Pakistan in front of a packed Eden Gardens is a sight I crave for.
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