Category: 2nd Division League

TRAU FC win 2nd Division League, qualify for I-League

NEW DELHI: The All India Football Federation (AIFF) lauded Manipur club TRAU FC for winning the 2nd Division League 2018-19, and qualifying to the next edition of I-League.

They are the second club from the state after NEROCA FC, to have qualified for the I-League from the second tier in three years.

TRAU FC defeated Ozone FC 2-1 at the Khuman Lampak Stadium in Imphal today (May 19, 2019) to clinch the championship with one match left. TRAU FC have amassed 15 points from 5 matches (so far), whereas second-placed Chhinga Veng FC are on 10 points having played an equal number of matches.

Sunando Dhar, CEO, I-League said: “Congratulations TRAU FC for the achievement. I’m sure the I-League will be more competitive and challenging next season with their inclusion. I wish them all the best for the next endeavour.”

Bengaluru FC B finish 2nd Division campaign unbeaten

Bengaluru: Bengaluru FC B ended their Hero 2nd Division League campaign unbeaten after a comfortable 2-0 win over FC Goa Reserves in their final group stage game at the Bengaluru Football Stadium, on Saturday.

Goals from Edmund Lalrindika (4’) and Naorem Roshan Singh (50’) handed Naushad Moosa’s boys their seventh win in Group A, the most in this season’s competition across all three groups. In fact, in taking their tally to 22 points and scoring 26 goals the Blue Colts logged the best numbers in the group stage despite Group C having six teams playing ten matches, two more than the Colts.

Fielding a strong team, the Blue Colts took an early lead when Edmund picked up a stray ball off a failed clearance on the right before sprinting toward the edge of the box in the 4th minute. The striker then hammered a powerful shot past Shubham Dhas in the Goa goal at the far post for his second goal in as many games.

Bengaluru continued to dominate proceedings thereafter and created a host of chances. The closest they came to the second was midway through the half when skipper Myron Mendes’ inch perfect cross from the left was headed inches wide by Leon Augustine at the far post after the winger managed to get a good connection on the dive.

The second half too saw an early goal, and once again it was BFC B who managed to find the back of the net. Roshan picked up a pass from Edmund inside the box on the left before finishing off at the far post with an outside the boot finish in the 50th minute.

The Blue Colts continued to push ahead with intent and midfielder Sairuat Kima almost got the third. Left-back Parag Shrivas made a solo run down the left before cutting in and firing a low shot on the goal which Dhas parried away. The ball fell for Kima whose shot on the slide came off the upright.

Ten minutes from the final whistle, the hosts had another chance when Namgyal Bhutia’s freekick from 30-yards was palmed onto the crossbar by Dhas who somehow managed to avoid a disaster.

The game took an ugly turn late on as both teams ended the game with ten men after BFC B’s Sairuat Kima and Goa’s Sarineo Fernandes were sent off in the final minutes of the second half.

Bengaluru FC B stretch unbeaten run to seven games after 3-1 defeat of Lonestar Kashmir

Katra, Jammu and Kashmir: Bengaluru FC B ensured a finish on top of the Group A table of the Hero 2nd Division League with a 3-1 win over LoneStar Kashmir at the Vaishno Devi Shrine Board Sports Complex in Katra, Jammu and Kashmir, on Wednesday. First-half goals from Advait Shinde (6′), Edmund Lalrindika (19′) and Myron Mendes (39′) gave the Blue Colts their sixth win in seven games in a competition where they are yet to be beaten.

The win took Naushad Moosa’s team, who have one game in hand, to 19 points – seven more than second-placed FC Goa Reserves who they will take on in their final game at the Bengaluru Football Stadium, in Bengaluru, on Saturday. Goa have two games in hand, including the one against BFC B, and can reach a maximum of 18 points.

Despite the far from ideal pitch conditions, Bengaluru got off to the perfect start, when Shinde ghosted past the Lonestar central defenders to pick a pass from Mendes before slotting home with ease. Lalrindika soon made it 2-0 when he raced and latched on to a long pass from the Amal Das and finished past the Kashmir ’keeper.

Unable to handle Bengaluru’s pace, Lonestar conceded a penalty in the 39th minute when Waqar Malik brought down Leon Augustine in the box after the latter had played a smart one-two with Lalrindika. Skipper Mendes, who is in charge of penalties, made no mistake from the spot to put Bengaluru in the driver’s seat.

The hosts managed to pull a goal back through Basit Bhat a little beyond the hour-mark, but Bengaluru were stubborn enough to avoid any further slip up as they sealed a first win in the campaign over LoneStar Kashmir FC.

2nd Division League: Philip Adjah’s hat-trick goes in vain as final round berth continues to elude Mohammedan

JAMSHEDPUR: Skipper Philip Adjah Tetteh’s hat-trick went in vain as Mohammedan Sporting Club failed to qualify for the Final Round of 2018/19 Hero 2nd Division League despite winning their last Preliminary Round match 4-2 against Jamshedpur FC Reserves on Friday at the JRD Tata Sports Complex in Jamshedpur. 

Going into the match, Mohammedan SC knew they had to win at any cost while at the same time hoping that TRAU FC and Rainbow AC drop points. Though ATK Reserves did them a favour by beating Rainbow AC 2-1, but Princewill Emeka’s late goal shattered Mohammedan SC’s dreams as TRAU edged past Chhinga Veng FC 3-2 to take the second spot in Group C.

Mohammedan SC finish the Preliminary Round campaign on third spot in Group C with 16 points from 10 matches, one shy of TRAU who book their place in the Final Round alongside Chhinga Veng FC (20 points).

Desmos Arthur Kouassi (13′) opened the scoring for Mohammedan SC before Adjah (17′, 28′ & 52′) single-handedly dismantled Jamshedpur. Nonetheless, the hosts did not go down without a fight as they pulled a couple of goals back though Sohrab Akhtar (15′) and Subhankar Sana (58′).

Mohammedan SC were expecting a tough encounter when they hosted Jamshedpur in Kalyani last month and that’s precisely what they got in a high-scoring affair.

Kouassi started it all with a good finish after 13 minutes, Jamshedpur keeper Amrit Gope trying but unable to keep the Ivorian’s strike out. That lead lasted just eight minutes though as Sohrab launched a thunderous long-range shot that had the beating of Mohammedan SC goalkeeper Priyant Singh.

Nonetheless, Mohammedan SC regained their lead in the 17th minute when Adjah picked his spot and fired home from the edge of the penalty area.

It was 3-1 in the 28th minute when Kouassi was hauled down in the box and Adjah converted the penalty to start a period in which Mohammedan SC had Jamshedpur under severe pressure, however, poor decision-making let them down in the final third which saw Raghu Nandy’s charges went into the breather leading 3-1.

Mohammedan SC virtually finished off the game seven minutes after restart as Adjah showed excellent persistence to ride a tackle from a Jamshedpur defender and scuffed his shot into the back of the net for his tenth goal of the campaign.

Nonetheless, Jamshedpur did not lose hope and attacked with pace. The hosts were rewarded for their efforts in 58th minute through Subhankar, but it only served to lessen the margin as Mohammedan SC held for a well-deserved 4-2 win.

2nd Division League: Chase for the final round spot goes down to the wire in Group C

KOLKATA: Mohammedan Sporting Club have a chance to qualify for the final round of 2018/19 Hero 2nd Division League on the final match-day of preliminary round Group C but they will be up against an tricky Jamshedpur FC Reserves on Friday at the JRD Tata Sports Complex in Jamshedpur, kick-off 3 pm.

With Chhinga Veng FC (20 points) already booked their place in the final round, three teams in Group C are separated by just one point and Mohammedan SC with 13 points from 9 matches are ranked fourth, owing to an inferior head-to-head record with local-rivals Rainbow AC, who also have the same number of points. TRAU FC are a point above the both Kolkata outfits given they have amassed 14 points in their 9 games so far.

A week ago, the Black Panthers were odds on favourite to make it to the final round following three successive victories. They have scored 13 goals in those three matches and conceded none, however, they faced a massive set back in their previous match when they were beaten 0-2 by Rainbow AC and now have to depend on others to reach the final round.

The Black Panthers will qualify for the final round if and only if they leave the ground with all three points in their last match and other results go their way. Nonetheless, TRAU FC or Rainbow AC’s win will anyway leave the Black Panthers empty-handed irrespective of the result in the Steel City.

If TRAU and Rainbow drop points in their last matches which will be against Chhinga Veng and ATK Reserves respectively, the Black Panthers will be able to seal the final round berth for the first time since 2015/16 season with a win over Jamshedpur.

Should both Mohammedan SC and Rainbow win their games and TRAU lose or draw theirs then Rainbow will go though as they boast a better head to head record over Mohammedan SC.

Meanwhile, TRAU are the only team amongst the three who are not dependent on any other outcome to reach the final round if they secure all three points against Chhinga Veng. They can also get the job done with a draw or even worse given that other two outcomes in Jamshedpur and Kolkata go accordingly.

Nonetheless, should all three teams end their campaign with same points; still Rainbow would make it merry thanks to their better head-to-head records taking all three teams into consideration.

“It will be a tough match. Jamshedpur are a very good side,” claimed Raghunath Nandy, the technical director of Mohammedan SC. “I always tell the players to focus on the match but not on the league table. We prefer to go match by match and it will be same tomorrow. I am not doing any calculation; this is the last game so we have to get three points. Let’s see what happens next. I am only thinking what is under my control.”

Roshan, Altamash on target as Bengaluru FC B beat ARA FC

Bengaluru: Bengaluru FC B got back to winning ways with a dominant 2-0 win over Ahmedabad-based ARA FC in a Round-6 encounter of the Hero 2ndDivision League at the Bengaluru Football Stadium, on Wednesday. Second half goals from Naorem Roshan Singh (47’) and Altamash Sayed (73’) sealed the points for Naushad Moosa’s Blue Colts, as they moved seven points clear at the top of Group A in the standings, while extending their unbeaten run to six games.

Going into the game after a goalless draw against LoneStar Kashmir five days ago, Coach Naushad Moosa made one change, with versatile midfielder Biswa Darjee replacing Sairuat Kima in the Starting XI. In a half that saw very few clear chances for either side, it was BFC’s Roshan Singh who came the closest to find the back of the net, but the winger’s left-footed grounder came off the upright after he managed to create space outside the box and take a swipe in the 36th minute.

ARA ’keeper Abhishek Das pulled off a point blank save from a Myron Mendes header after Altamash Sayed’s cross as both teams went into the tunnel with the scores unchanged. The second half sprung to life inside two minutes as the hosts broke the deadlock. Roshan Singh capitalised on a miscued clearance from Abhishek and slotted home from close for his fourth goal of the campaign.

The early goal gave Moosa’s boys a much-needed confidence boost, as they began dominating proceedings even more. With ARA just pushing up on counters, BFC B practically stayed put in the rival half for most of the second period.

Parag Shrivas had a good chance when he set on a solo down the middle, but his powerful drive was tipped over by Das in the 70th minute. However, the ARA ’keeper was helpless three minutes later when a quick interplay between substitutes Advait Shinde and Amay Morajkar on the right saw the latter send Altamash free in the box who took a touch before calmly finishing at the far post to make it 2-0.

Bengaluru FC B now travel north to face LoneStar Kashmir on Wednesday, March 27, in a fixture that has been rescheduled to take place at the Vaishno Devi Shrine Board Sports Complex, in Katra, Jammu.

Rainbow dent Mohammedan’s final round hopes

KALYANI: Rainbow Athletic Club dented Mohammedan Sporting Club’s hopes of qualifying for the final round of the 2018/19 Hero 2nd Division League after beating them 2-0 in an Preliminary Round Group C clash on Sunday.

In a tight game which could have gone either way, Rainbow AC scored on the either side of the pitch through Joel Sunday (4′) and Sourav Roy (90+2′) to hand Black Panthers their fourth defeat of the campaign.

Going into this clash, Mohammedan SC (13 points) were on second place in Group C. But now must beat Jamshedpur FC Reserves in their last Preliminary Round match and at the same time hope TRAU FC (14 Points) and Rainbow AC (13 Points) drop points in their respective matches in order to qualify for the final round first time since 2015/16 season.

Mohammedan SC, enjoying good support in the stands, started the match on the front foot and had a few promising moments early on, but were kept in check by Rainbow AC’s defense of Emmanuel Chigozie and Enjamul Haque. 

It was at the other end, however, where the opening goal arrived and it was Sunday who scored to give Rainbow AC the lead in the 4th minute.

Rainbow AC’s lead, overall, seemed a deserved, though, for the manner in which their pace at times embarrassed Mohammedan SC defence, such as in the 11th minute where, with Mohammedan SC defenders scattered on the ground, Sunday’s shot thundered off the upright.

Mohammedan SC though created many chances but failed to equalize, as they failed to stick to their passing game policy. The players seemed to be more keen on playing direct football sending long balls from the centre-line as the Rainbow AC defence held firm and ensured that they retained the advantage going into the break.

In the second-half, the sides came out of the changing rooms with different tactics. Mohammedan SC were the first to surge forward, once again with the blistering pace of Philip Adjah, but Rainbow AC’s defence were up to the standard and managed to clear.

Mohammedan SC had most of the possession as the game wore on. But Rainbow AC intelligently and stubbornly defended their lead.

And with the home team pressing forward, their could always be the chance the other way, materialising when Sunday’s pass picked out Sourav to produce a fine strike into the top-right corner to put the game beyond doubt.

Raghu Nandy warns against complacency ahead of Rainbow clash

KOLKATA: Mohammedan Sporting Club may be on their best run of form in months, but technical director Raghunath Nandy has cautioned his players about getting overconfident when they face Rainbow Athletic Club in an crucial Hero 2nd Division League Preliminary Round Group C fixture on Sunday, kick-off 3 pm.

Nandy’s side head into the encounter on the back of a morale-boosting 6-0 win over TRAU FC, while Rainbow AC suffered a 0-3 loss against Jamshedpur FC Reserves.

The former defender reminded his outfit about the fine line between confidence and arrogance as they look to secure maximum points against their Calcutta Football League rivals.

“There is a fine line between arrogance and confidence – we need to stay confident without being too arrogant,” Nandy said ahead of the clash.

Although Mohammedan SC have been invisible in their last three games, scoring 13 goals and conceding none, but Nandy is fully aware that anything less than three points against Rainbow AC, who are winless in their last five outings, will invalidate all their previous hard work.

“We are highly focused, we are concentrating on the match and we will treat it like a match as if we have not been having the run that we are on. We appreciate the run, we are thankful about it. We are getting results, but we have to be careful,”

“Rainbow will be up for playing an open game and will approach the fixture in a carefree fashion. We must be aggressive in order to beat them. We will need to be better than them from a technical aspect and also remain patient for our scoring opportunities,” he added.

Going into the match, Mohammedan SC will be without the services of Ivorian striker Desmos Arthur Kouassi, who is suspended for the match. While his absence may be a concern to supporters, Nandy has no such fears and insists no one in his squad is irreplaceable.

“Obviously this will be a blow for us given the goal threat that Arthur has been here. But we have players who can replace him and we will manage that,” said Nandy.

Bengaluru FC B held to a goalless draw by LoneStar Kashmir

Bengaluru: Bengaluru FC B were held to a goalless draw by LoneStar Kashmir FC in a Hero 2nd Division League encounter at the Bengaluru Football Stadium, on Friday. The stalemate brought an end to Blue Colts’ four-match winning run in Group A, but Naushad Moosa’s boys stay unbeaten and on top of the group with 13 points from five games.

Playing their game after a long gap, Moosa started the game with six players from the first team with Aditya Patra returning in goal alongside Gursimrat Singh Gill, Sairuat Kima, Parag Shrivas, Myron Mendes and Edmund Lalrindika.

The Blue Colts began the game aggressively and created more than five close chances in the opening twenty minutes. The closest chances fell for Naorem Roshan Singh, Myron Mendes and Edmund. However, none was as clear as the one that fell for Altamash Sayed in the 12th minute. The playmaker was unmarked and at the end of an inch-perfect ball in from the left by Roshan at the far post. However, Altamash somehow missed the attempt failing to get a clean touch.

LoneStar Kashmir struggled to create any real danger for major part of the first half but had a glorious chance right before the break. Duleep Menon found himself clear in the box but his effort from close was saved by BFC custodian Patra.

The second half saw both teams struggle in creating clear goal scoring chances. While the Blue Colts saw majority of the possession, LoneStar Kashmir sat back, defending deep in their own territory, only pushing ahead on counter attacks.

It was Bengaluru who came the closest to breaking the deadlock in the 83rd minute when Altamash unleashed a powerful left-footer but his effort from distance was tipped over by Muhammed Nalakath in the rival goal. The Blues kept the pressure on and pushed up with most players but couldn’t find the breakthrough as the game ended 0-0.

Bengaluru FC B play ARA FC next at the Bengaluru Football Stadium on March 20.

Bengaluru FC B host LoneStar Kashmir in 2nd Division League

Bengaluru: Group A leaders Bengaluru FC B will be keen to build on their winning momentum when they take on LoneStar Kashmir FC in their fifth game of the Hero 2nd Division League at the Bengaluru Football Stadium, in Bengaluru, on Friday.

Having set the pace at the top with four successive wins in their group, three of which came on the road, the Blue Colts will look to make the most of the second half of the group games which takes place over the course of the next two weeks.

“The players had a short break after their last game in Delhi. We have been training regularly and some of our players were part of the first team for the ISL’s final League stage game against Jamshedpur. While it is not easy to push players without competitive games, we played a friendly in between which has helped us during this break,” said BFC B Head Coach Naushad Moosa on the eve of the game.

While Bengaluru’s away game in Srinagar was postponed, they have already faced their opponents earlier in the season. Back in October, the Blue Colts ran out 7-0 winners over LoneStar Kashmir in the J&K Invitational Cup. However, with the visitors having improved their team since then, Moosa expects his side to avoid complacency.

“We played against LoneStar in Srinagar at the start of the season. But I don’t want my players to be casual in their approach for this game. It’s important to stay focused and take this game seriously. It’s been five months since then and they have added two foreigners and a few Indian players to strengthen their squad. Which means they will be a different side to the one we faced. Our objective is to stay on top of the group and we will have to be at our best to take anything away from this game,” added Moosa

On the team news front, the Blue Colts will miss the services of midfielder Emanuel Lalchhanchhuaha after the youngster picked up an ankle injury in training. Meanwhile, a few key players have returned to the squad, having been part of the first team in the ISL.

The game kicks off at 3.30 pm at the Bengaluru Football Stadium tomorrow.