The Telegraph
Sunday , April 13 , 2014
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RUFC start favourites vs Md. Sp.

Calcutta: Facts, like a Rubik’s Cube, sport multiple faces and isn’t at all simple. There’s a ‘this’ and there’s a ‘that’, which are more often than not contradictory.

Going by history, Rangdajied United FC is just like a kid to the grandfather-like stature of Mohammedan Sporting. While the former was founded less than three decades ago, the latter carries the wealth of a century. While Mohammedan Sporting has millions of fans spread all over the country and beyond, RUFC, from Shillong, cannot even dream of such support. These are facts.

But it’s also a fact that when these two teams cross swords in an I-League encounter on Sunday, RUFC, not Mohammedan Sporting, will be the favourites. It will be a battle between a team which is on an ascendancy and one which has slipped to the bottom of the rankings and are fighting to beat the drop.

Mohammedan Sporting are currently placed 13th, the last spot on the points table. RUFC, courtesy their impressive run in the second phase of the league, have climbed up to the ninth position.

Not many matches are left in this season’s league and Mohammedan Sporting will have to give it their all in order to stay afloat in the I-League.

Considered one of the Big Three (at least on paper) from the city, they had started the season with high hopes and had also assembled a good team. But somehow, they never got the rhythm needed to survive a marathon league.

Mohammedan Sporting coach Sanjoy Sen is aware of the desperate situation he is in. His job on Sunday wouldn’t be easy as RUFC have been playing like a rejuvenated team of late.

Coached by Santosh Kashyap in the first phase of the league, RUFC were seen as struggling newcomers. But under new coach Herring Shangpliang they have made a strong comeback, surprising the bigger names of Indian football often.

With four wins from the eight matches they have played in the second phase of the league so far, they have started things afresh.