2018–19 I-League

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I-League
Season2018–19
ChampionsChennai City
RelegatedShillong Lajong
AFC Champions LeagueChennai City
Matches played109
Goals scored303 (2.78 per match)
Top goalscorerPedro Manzi
Willis Plaza
(21 goals)
Biggest home winReal Kashmir 6–1 Shillong Lajong
(11 December 2018) Chennai City 6–1 Shillong Lajong
(29 December 2018)
East Bengal 5-0 Shillong Lajong
(14 February 2019)
Biggest away winMohun Bagan 0–3 Churchill Brothers
(25 November 2018) Shillong Lajong 0–3 Indian Arrows
(13 January 2019)
Highest scoringReal Kashmir 6–1 Shillong Lajong
(11 December 2018) Chennai City 6–1 Shillong Lajong
(29 December 2018) Chennai City 4–3 Aizawl
(18 January 2019)
Longest winning runChennai City, East Bengal
(4 games)
Longest unbeaten runReal Kashmir (13 games)
Longest winless runShillong Lajong (11 games)
Longest losing runShillong Lajong (5 games)
Highest attendance64,867
East Bengal 3–2 Mohun Bagan
(16 December 2018)
Lowest attendance100
Indian Arrows 0–2 Chennai City
(8 February 2019)
Total attendance1,114,349
Average attendance10,223
All statistics correct as of 9 March 2019.

The 2018–19 I-League was the 12th season of the I-League, the top Indian professional football league, since its establishment in 2007. The season started on 26 October 2018 and is scheduled to conclude in March 2019.[1] Unlike the Indian Super League, the I-League did not take a mid-season break during the 2019 AFC Asian Cup.[1]

Minerva Punjab was the defending champions having won the previous season. Real Kashmir joined as a promoted club from the I-League 2nd Division. Churchill Brothers, having been relegated the previous season, were given an exemption by the All India Football Federation for this season.

Chennai City FC were the champions for this season, winning the title on the last day. This was their first title win in the history of the club. The top scorer in the league was Chennai City FC’s Pedro Manzi, who finished the season with 21 goals.[2]

Teams[edit]

Stadiums and locations[edit]

Team City/State Stadium Capacity
Aizawl Aizawl, Mizoram Rajiv Gandhi Stadium 25,000
Chennai City Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium 35,000
Churchill Brothers Vasco da Gama, Goa Tilak Maidan Stadium 15,000
East Bengal Kolkata, West Bengal Salt Lake Stadium 85,000
Gokulam Kerala Kozhikode, Kerala EMS Stadium 80,000
Indian Arrows Cuttack, Odisha
Bhubaneswar, Odisha
Barabati Stadium
Kalinga Stadium
60,000
30,000
Minerva Punjab Panchkula, Chandigarh Tau Devi Lal Stadium 15,000
Mohun Bagan Kolkata, West Bengal Salt Lake Stadium 85,000
NEROCA Imphal, Manipur Khuman Lampak Main Stadium 40,000
Real Kashmir Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir TRC Turf Ground 15,000
Shillong Lajong Shillong, Meghalaya Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium 35,000

Personnel and sponsorship[edit]

Team Head coach Kit manufacturer Shirt sponsor
Aizawl India Stanley Rozario Vamos NECS Limited
Chennai City Singapore Akbar Nawas Penalty Nippon Paint
Churchill Brothers Romania Petre Gigiu Nivia Churchill Group
East Bengal Spain Alejandro Menéndez Perf Quess Corp
Gokulam Kerala India Gift Raikhan Kaizen Aqualine
Indian Arrows India Floyd Pinto Nike Hero
Minerva Punjab India Sachin Badadhe Astro Apollo Tyres
Mohun Bagan India Khalid Jamil Shiv Naresh None
NEROCA Spain Manuel Retamero Fraile Sqad Gear Classic Group
Real Kashmir Scotland David Robertson Adidas J&K Bank
Shillong Lajong India Alison Kharsyntiew Lotto McDowell's No.1

Head coaching changes[edit]

Team Outgoing coach Manner of departure Position in table Incoming coach Date of appointment
Chennai City India V. Soundararajan Contract finished Pre-season Singapore Akbar Nawas 20 March 2018[3]
Aizawl India Santosh Kashyap Contract finished India Gift Raikhan 6 June 2018[4]
NEROCA India Gift Raikhan Contract finished Spain Manuel Retamero Fraile 6 July 2018[5]
Indian Arrows Portugal Luís Norton de Matos Contract finished India Floyd Pinto 25 July 2018[6]
Minerva Punjab India Khogen Singh Contract finished Northern Ireland Paul Munster 9 August 2018[7]
East Bengal India Khalid Jamil Mutual consent Spain Alejandro Menéndez 20 August 2018[8]
Mohun Bagan India Sankarlal Chakraborty Resigned 6th(11 game in) India Khalid Jamil 7 January 2019[9]
Aizawl India Gift Raikhan Resigned 10th(11 game in) India Stanley Rozario 9 January 2019
Minerva Punjab Northern Ireland Paul Munster Resigned 9th(16 game in) India Sachin Badadhe(interim) 12 February 2019
Gokulam Kerala India Bino George Move To Technical Director 10th(18 game in) India Gift Raikhan 28 February 2019

Foreign players[edit]

On 20 June 2018, it was decided by the All India Football Federation that the number of foreigners for each I-League club will be kept six as previous season. Asian player quota is abolished. Clubs can sign maximum six players of any nationality.[10]

Indian Arrows cannot sign any foreign players as they are the AIFF developmental team.

Club Foreigner 1 Foreigner 2 Foreigner 3 Foreigner 4 Foreigner 5 Foreigner 6
Aizawl Ivory Coast Léonce Dodoz Liberia Alfred Jaryan Liberia Ansumana Kromah Nigeria Kareem Omolaja Uganda Richard Kasagga
Chennai City Italy Mauro Boerchio Slovakia Jozef Kapláň Spain Roberto Eslava Spain Néstor Gordillo Spain Pedro Manzi Spain Sandro Rodríguez
Churchill Brothers Bosnia and Herzegovina Nenad Novakovic Ivory Coast Lorougnon Christ Remi Lebanon Hussein El Dor Trinidad and Tobago Willis Plaza Trinidad and Tobago Anthony Wolfe Uganda Khalid Aucho
East Bengal Costa Rica Johnny Acosta Mexico Enrique Esqueda Senegal Kassim Aidara Spain Toni Dovale Spain Borja Gómez Pérez Spain Jaime Santos
Gokulam Kerala Ghana Daniel Addo Haiti Fabien Vorbe Nigeria Ejiogu Emmanual Trinidad and Tobago Andre Ettienne Trinidad and Tobago Marcus Joseph
Minerva Punjab Colombia Caicedo Rodriguez Ghana Kalif Alhassan Spain Juan Quero Syria Mahmoud Amnah Ukraine Roland Bilala
Mohun Bagan Cameroon Aser Pierrick Dipanda Egypt Omar Elhussieny Haiti Sony Norde Japan Yuta Kinowaki Nigeria Kingsley Obumneme Uganda Henry Kisekka
NEROCA Australia Aryn Williams Bhutan Chencho Gyeltshen Equatorial Guinea Eduardo Ferreira Japan Katsumi Yusa Liberia Varney Kallon Nigeria Felix Chidi Odili
Real Kashmir Ghana Abednego Tetteh Ivory Coast Bazie Armand Ivory Coast Gnohere Krizo Nigeria Loveday Enyinnaya Scotland Mason Robertson Zambia Aaron Katebe
Shillong Lajong

League table[edit]

Pos Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts Qualification or relegation
1 Chennai City (C) 20 13 4 3 48 28 +20 43 Qualification for AFC Champions League preliminary round 1[a]
2 East Bengal 20 13 3 4 37 20 +17 42
3 Real Kashmir 20 10 7 3 25 14 +11 37[b]
4 Churchill Brothers 20 9 7 4 35 23 +12 34
5 Mohun Bagan 20 8 5 7 27 28 −1 29
6 NEROCA 20 7 5 8 27 26 +1 26
7 Aizawl 20 6 6 8 27 28 −1 24
8 Indian Arrows 20 6 3 11 19 28 −9 21
9 Minerva Punjab 20 4 6 10 10 19 −9 18[b]
10 Gokulam Kerala 20 3 8 9 25 33 −8 17
11 Shillong Lajong (R) 20 3 2 15 23 56 −33 11 Relegation to I-League 2nd Division
Source: I-league, RSSSF
Rules for classification: 1) points; 2) head-to-head points; 3) head-to-head goal difference; 4) goal difference; 5) number of goals scored; 6) drawing of lots
(C) Champion; (R) Relegated.
Notes:
  1. ^ If the league champions cannot qualify for the AFC Champions League group stage, they will enter the AFC Cup group stage.
  2. ^ a b The game between Minerva Punjab and Real Kashmir was rescheduled, but eventually both teams were awarded a point.[11]

Results[edit]

Home \ Away AFC CHE CHU EAB GOK INA MIN MOH NER REK SHI
Aizawl 1–2 2–1 3–2 3–2 0–1 1–2 1–2 0–0 0–0 4–1
Chennai City 4–3 2–2 2–1 3–2 4–1 3–1 3–1 2–1 0–1 6–1
Churchill Brothers 4–1 3–2 1–2 3–1 2–1 2–0 1–1 2–1 1–1 4–2
East Bengal 1–1 1–2 1–1 3–1 1–0 0–1 3–2 2–1 1–1 5–0
Gokulam Kerala 1–3 2–3 1–1 1–2 1–1 1–0 1–1 2–1 1–1 3–1
Indian Arrows 0–0 0–2 0–1 1–2 1–0 2–1 0–2 2–3 2–2 1–0
Minerva Punjab 0–1 0–0 0–0 0–1 1–1 1–0 0–1 1–0 0–1 0–1
Mohun Bagan 2–2 1–1 0–3 0–2 2–2 1–3 2–0 1–0 1–2 2–0
NEROCA 0–0 3–3 2–1 0–2 1–1 3–0 0–0 2–1 2–3 3–2
Real Kashmir 1–0 1–0 0–0 1–2 1–0 2–0 [a] 0–1 0–2 6–1
Shillong Lajong 2–1 2–4 3–2 1–3 1–1 0–3 2–2 2–3 1–2 0–1
Updated to match(es) played on 13 April 2019. Source: I-League
Colours: Blue = home team win; Yellow = draw; Red = away team win.
Notes:
  1. ^ Both teams agreed to share one point each. Match was abandoned because of security issue.[12]

Season statistics[edit]

Scoring[edit]

As of 9 March 2019[13]

Hat-tricks[edit]

Player For Against Result Date Ref
Spain Pedro Manzi Chennai City Indian Arrows 4–1 (H) 26 October 2018 [14]
Trinidad and Tobago Willis Plaza Churchill Brothers Shillong Lajong 4–2 (H) 15 November 2018 [15]
Spain Pedro Manzi Chennai City Shillong Lajong 6–1 (H) 29 December 2018 [16]
Spain Pedro Manzi Chennai City Gokulam Kerala 3–2 (H) 4 January 2019 [17]
Spain Pedro Manzi Chennai City NEROCA 3–3 (A) 11 February 2019 [18]
India Laldanmawia Ralte East Bengal Shillong Lajong 5–0 (H) 14 February 2019 [19]

Cleansheets[edit]

As of 9 March 2019
Rank Player Club Clean
sheets
1 India Bilal Khan Real Kashmir 9
2 India James Kithan Churchill Brothers 5
India Prabhsukhan Singh Gill Indian Arrows
India Rakshit Dagar East Bengal
5 India Shilton Paul Mohun Bagan 4
6 India Bhaskar Roy Minerva Punjab 3
India Lalit Thapa NEROCA
India Lalawmpuia Aizawl
9 Spain Nauzet Santana Chennai City 2
Italy Mauro Boerchio NEROCA
India Arshdeep Singh Minerva Punjab
India Shankar Roy Mohun Bagan
India Gurpreet Singh Chabal Aizawl

Average home attendances[edit]

As of 9 March 2019[20][21]