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I-League relegation battle scenario: Playoffs could be necessary

Amoy Ghoshal
FEATURED COLUMNIST
Modified 17 Apr 2014

Much like the title race, the I-League relegation battle still remains quite tight. Rock-bottom Mohammedan Sporting are the favourites to go down as their survival hopes are not in their hands anymore but three other clubs – Churchill Brothers, United Sports Club and Rangdajied United – are not safe yet with only one team to get relegated. Sportskeeda analyses the battle for survival scenario.

TeamPlayedPoints
Rangdajied United2324
United SC2223
Churchill Brothers2222
Mohammedan Sporting2321

Rangdajied United

Points: 24

Remaining fixture: Shillong Lajong (home) – April 21

rangdajied

What they need

The equation for Rangdajied United is simple as a point against local rivals Shillong Lajong will ensure their survival. Anything less will keep them in danger as then they might be forced to contest a playoff with Mohammedan Sporting if the Kolkata side win their final fixture.

United SC

Points: 23

Remaining fixtures: Churchill Brothers (away) – April 19; East Bengal (home) – April 28

united sc

What they need

The purple shirts need two points from their last two games to be safe. A failure to do the same would allow Mohammedan Sporting to catch or overtake them but United SC will be content with the fact that they are the masters of their own destiny.

Churchill Brothers

churchill

Points: 22

Remaining fixtures: United SC (home) – April 19; Salgaocar (away but in Goa) – April 28

What they need

The I-League holders simply have to record a victory in any of their two remaining games to avoid the embarrassment of getting relegated as the defending champions. Churchill would be looking to guarantee their safety before the final game of the season against local rivals Salgaocar, who might still be playing for the title.

Mohammedan Sporting

Points: 21

Remaining fixture: Mumbai FC (away) – April 27

mohd

What they need

The relegation battle depends entirely on Mohammedan Sporting as the results of the other three sides will become irrelevant if the black and whites don’t beat Mumbai FC. The IFA Shield and Durand Cup champions must win that game and hope that any of the other three teams finish with a points tally of 24 or less. A failure to get maximum points against an already safe Mumbai side would relegate Mohammedan Sporting and keep the other three in the I-League.

Playoffs

As per the 2013-14 I-League regulations, when it comes to relegation if two teams are tied on the same points then there will be a playoff in a neutral venue between the two with the loser getting relegated. But this time the possibility of even three or four teams finishing on the same points remains. The regulations doesn’t state clearly of what happens if three or four are tied for the last spot but Sportskeeda learnt that a mini playoff league might be held in a neutral venue among the teams concerned with the last team going down. In 2010-11 though, a mini head-to-head table was used with the bottom two of the four tied teams getting demoted to the second division.  The I-League department is expected to make the criteria official in the next few days.

Published 17 Apr 2014
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