I-League 2011/12: HAL close to relegation

Bangalore's Hindustan Aeronautics Limited SC held Maidan giants Mohun Bagan AC to a surprising goalless away draw at the Saltlake Stadium in Kolkata today. While the draw ended Mohun Bagan's slim championship hopes it also means that HAL are somewhat relegated then they are now 12 points behind Mumbai FC in the first non-relegation spot with four matches to play and with a substantially inferior goal difference plus only one win all season.

For the Garden City it would mean no I-League football next season at the redeveloped Bangalore Football Stadium with its new artificial turf, while for HAL it might mean this season is the last time for them in the top tier of Indian football as long as the Public Sector Unit does not form an own entity for their football team.

Last season HAL had a miraculous escape on the last day of the campaign with a sensational 4-2 away win against Dempo SC. But over the summer the club lost key players like Xavier Vijayakumar, Joseph Muralidharan and R. Srikanth; while the club entered the transfer market very late and could only buy what was left.

The writing was on the wall. From the start HAL had a terrible I-League campaign with only one win out of their 22 matches so far, which came against relegation threatened Chirag United Kerala in Round 17 and earlier low point was a 1-8 trashing at home against East Bengal Club.

With 13 goals scored in 22 matches and 48 conceded a team cannot stay in the I-League.

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