Kolkata giants Mohammedan SC sealed their qualification to the I League after a convincing 2-0 win against Bhawanipore FC this evening.
Mohun Bagan’s merger with ATK to join the ISL and East Bengal’s corporate entry into the same competition had left the I League without a side from the City of Joy. Mohammedan, however, made sure another team from Kolkata took the baton as the Black Panthers qualified in style winning their first three I League qualifier matches in Kolkata and sealing their qualification to the I League with one match to spare.
The Kolkata outfits started the campaign with a narrow 1-0 win over Garhwal FC before running out comfortable 4-1 winners against ARA FC. With the other teams taking points off each other, Mohammedan had the chance to seal qualification with a win going into the game against fellow Kolkata side Bhawanipore FC this evening.
Mohammedan were the more dominant side right from the off and struck three minutes before the half hour mark with Vanlalbiaa Chhangte slotting home Faiaz’s swivelled pass. Bhawanipore looked to hit back and should have drawn parity in the 38th minute as Adjah went through on goal. The Ghanaian, however, miscued his chipped effort and Mohammedan went into the break with the 1-0 lead.
Adjah was in the thick of things again in the second half and should have buried his second chance in the 65th minute but the Ghanaian failed to find his shooting boots with his tame shot from close range easily collected by Mohammedan’s skipper and custodian Priyant. Bhawanipore were made to pay for their costly misses as Gani Ningam, who had come in at half time fired home Mohammedan’s second in the 67th minute.
The Black Panthers then had to rely on their goalkeeper who made some outstanding saves to keep the scoreline intact and grind out the 2-0 win for the would be I League team.