New Delhi, Feb 27 (IANS) Hailing the unpredictable nature of the I-League with Minerva Punjab FC and Neroca FC competing for the crown, Indian football icon I.M. Vijayan said this is what draws the fans and players alike and is very encouraging.
“The I-League is very unpredictable and that is what the last season taught us. This season, it is even more unpredictable and volatile than before as now you have two underdogs gunning for the title,” Vijayan told www.the-aiff.com.
“It makes the title race even more sweet and exciting to watch. Who could have expected Minerva and Neroca to be in contention for the I-League title at the start of the season?”
“The more volatile the league is, the more exciting it gets for the players and the more thrilling it gets for the fans. There has always been a nail-biting finish of the I-League season, but this one is different”, he added.
Gokulam Kerala FC’s revival — where the Bino George-coached team defeated Mohun Bagan, East Bengal and Minerva FC on the trot in the latter half of the season — also underlined the underdogs’ rise.
The Indian Arrows, on the other hand, the youngest team in the I-League comprising of teenagers, time and again proved the underdog spirit of fighting and although they lost, the young Arrows recouped and fought again, winning some, but most importantly learning in the process.
“When an underdog team beats the favourite, it captures the true essence of the sport. It showcases how the human being can challenge adversity and still win and come out on top,” Vijayan said.
“In this edition of the I-League, you have two underdogs who against all odds have come up and now are title contenders. And then you have the mid-table teams who play against top-table teams and beat them,” he added.
“It is amazing how much nail-biting action the I-League has provided and once it enters the final match day, it will only get better for the fans.”