Eleven matches. 35 goals. The 2023-24 I-League season has kicked off with a bang, setting the stage for yet another delightful journey filled with unpredictable twists and turns. As fans eagerly anticipate each matchday, the opening rounds have already treated them to thrilling encounters and standout performances.
Round 1 provided a taste of the season’s excitement. Real Kashmir FC got off to a flying start by securing a home victory against Rajasthan United. Debutants Inter Kashi made their presence felt, sharing points with former champions Gokulam Kerala FC. However, the most electrifying match of the round saw Sreenidi Deccan dominating NEROCA FC with a remarkable four-goal display for a big home win. Meanwhile, Mohammedan Sporting clinched a 2-1 victory over Aizawl FC in Naihati. In the last two matches of the round, Delhi FC and Namdhari FC debuted in the league with a point each, drawing 1-1 and 0-0 with TRAU FC and Churchill Brothers respectively.
As Round 2 unfolded, the drama and intensity escalated. Delhi FC stole the spotlight with the season’s first hat-trick, delivered by Yash Tripathi against Rajasthan United as they won 4-3. Sreenidi Deccan continued their winning streak at home against Inter Kashi, notching up an impressive 4-1 victory, and it’s worth noting that four Indian players contributed to their goal tally, with Rosenberg Gabriel, Pawan Kumar, Lalnuntluanga Bawitlung, and R Lalbiakliana all finding the net. The 19-year-old talent, Lalbiakliana, has already marked his presence on the scoring sheet with two goals in as many matches.
The return of the Shillong Lajong heroes from the Northeast after a four-year absence was marked by Takuto Miki’s stunning volley in their season opener against Mohammedan Sporting and became a highlight-reel moment. The snow leopards Real Kashmir also maintained their momentum with a solitary goal from Jeremy Laldinpuia in the home match against TRAU. After being denied victory via a last-gasp goal in their opening match, Gokulam Kerala trounced NEROCA 4-1 in the lone fixture on Sunday evening to move up to third in the table
After Round 2, Sreenidi Deccan and Real Kashmir sit at the top with six points, followed by Gokulam Kerala, Delhi FC and Mohammedan Sporting with four each. At the other end of the table, NEROCA and Rajasthan United are yet to open their account.
With the stage set for more breathtaking action in the I-League 2023-24 season, fans can expect a rollercoaster ride filled with goals, drama, and the emergence of new talents, as well as the resilience of seasoned teams. Each match promises to be a captivating chapter in the ongoing football saga, and the journey has only just begun.
Looking ahead to Round 3, fans can anticipate dazzling goals, resolute defences, and surprises galore as the next chapter of this thrilling saga unfolds.
Debutants Namdhari FC and Inter Kashi will face off on November 5, promising an exciting showdown between the newcomers in Sri Bhaini Sahib. Additionally, there will be doubleheader matches, with Sreenidi Deccan taking on Aizawl in Hyderabad, and Mohammedan looking to keep up with the leaders as they face TRAU on November 7 in Naihati.
On November 8, Real Kashmir will hope to maintain their winning run as they lock horns with Churchill Brothers FC Goa. The following day, Shillong Lajong welcome NEROCA for their first home game of the season, while Gokulam Kerala will seek victory against Rajasthan United in Kozhikode.
All the matches will be broadcast live on the Eurosport channel and streamed live on the Indian Football YouTube page and FanCode.