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2nd Division League: Matchday 7 [28/02-05/03]

2nd Division League Matchday 7
Imanuel HS Lalthazuala scored a hat-trick against New Barrackpore Rainbow AC.
Picture Credit: Chhinga Veng FC

Chhinga Veng FC and Fateh Hyderabad continue to top Group B and C; ARA FC and Lonestar Kashmir likely contenders for Group A; South United FC are out of the equation for the final round and Mohammedan SC’s chances of going into the next round look bleak at the end of Matchday 7 of the Second Division League.

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Lonestar Kashmir vs Bengaluru FC [R]

TRAU FC vs Mohammedan SC

Chhinga Veng FC vs ATK [R]

Ozone FC vs Kerala Blasters [R]

Lonestar Kashmir vs Hindustan FC

South United FC vs Fateh Hyderabad AFC

TRAU FC vs Jamshedpur FC [R]

ATK [R] vs Mohammedan SC

Chhinga Veng FC vs New Barrackpore Rainbow AC

ARA FC vs FC Goa [R]

Lonestar Kashmir and Bengaluru FC [R] game postponed

Group A, Srinagar, 28 February 2019: Lonestar Kashmir vs Bengaluru FC (R)

The match has been postponed due to the prevailing security situation in Kashmir and the fixture will be announced at a later date.

Mohammedan SC go down in Imphal

Group C, Imphal, 28 February 2019: TRAU FC 2-1 Mohammedan SC

Mohammedan SC’s chances of making it out of the preliminary group stage got bleaker after going down to TRAU FC.

The Kolkata side took the lead in the 12th minute after the Ghanian forward Philip Adjah finished past the keeper with Prosenjit Chakraborty picking up the assist.

A goal down, TRAU pushed forward and got the equaliser in the 25th minute. Finding himself with space and time on the ball in the box, the former Mohammedan man Princewill Emeka thumped the ball into the top left corner of the net. Emeka is the current top scorer in the league with five goals.

TRAU had a chance to take the lead after winning a penalty for a foul on Kivi Zhimomi, but Prince was denied by the Mohammedan shot-stopper Priyant Singh. The teams went into the half-time break with the scores level.

In the second half, TRAU pushed ahead and had a few sighters on goal. Their peristence was rewarded and the Nigerian Joseph Olaleye got on the scoresheet in the 56th minute from a Kivi Zhimomi setup.

The Black Panthers tried to salvage something from the game and had a flurry of attempts late in the second half, but they weren’t able to change the scoreline. Mohammedan find themselves in fifth (6 teams) and need a dramatic turnaround to qualify out of the group.

Chhinga Veng FC stay put on top of the table

Group C, Aizawl, 28 February 2019: Chhinga Veng FC 3-1 ATK (R)

The second division debutantes Chhinga Veng FC continued their impressive form with a win over ATK Reserves. They are unbeaten in the league and are top of the table.

Chhinga Veng took a solitary goal lead into the halftime break courtesy Vanlalbiaa Chhangte (26′). The second half saw them dismantle the reserves’ defence with another couple of goals to take an unassailable 3-0 lead. The goalscorers were Godwin Quashiga (53′) and Lalliansanga (65′).

ATK got a goal back in the 73rd minute (Ashish Jha) as the game ended 3-1 in favour of the Mizo club.

Ozone FC maintain their perfect record

Group B, Bengaluru, 2 March 2019: Ozone FC 2-1 Kerala Blasters (R)

Ozone FC put up a solid performance to see off Kerala Blasters Reserves here at the Bangalore Football Stadium.

Kerala didn’t have much to offer in the first half as Ozone dominated possession and attempts on goal. Ozone got themselves in the lead after Ayush Adhikari won a penalty. The new signing from Minerva Punjab William Opoku calmly converted the penalty to put his team in the lead in the 13th minute.

Ozone were solid at the back with the Nigerian Chika Wali manning the defensive perimeter. They got themselves a second goal with Karnatka Santosh Trophy represent Sabeeth Sathyan picking up the pieces after an Opoku shot saw the keeper spill the ball. The side from Bengaluru led 2-0 going into the break.

Kerala Blasters Reserves replaced the U-17 World Cup player Jeakson Singh with Pragyan Gogoi. Gogoi in combination with another U-17 World Cup star Nongdamba Naorem threatened the Ozone defence. Kerala pulled a goal back late in the 78th minute with Gogoi getting on the score sheet.

The Blasters came close to an equaliser a couple of times, but Ozone held on to make it three wins out of three.

Lonestar FC vs Hindustan FC postponed

Group A, Srinagar, 3 March 2019: Lonestar Kashmir vs Hindustan FC

The match has been postponed due to the prevailing security situation in Kashmir and the fixture will be announced at a later date.

Fateh Hyderabad suffer a blemish to their perfect record

Group B, Bengaluru, 3 March 2019: South United FC 1-0 Fateh Hyderabad AFC

South United FC pick up their first win of their campaign and in the process handed Fateh Hyderabad their first defeat of the season. Fateh had previously won all four matches it had played in the league.

Fateh started the game well with most of their attacking originating from the left fullback Don Lepcha. Bedashwor Singh and Hitova Ayemi looked good going forward. Naro Hari Shrestha and Gagandeep Singh did not have much of an impact and Fateh lacked decisiveness in the final third.

Late in the first half, South United began to find their feet in the game and had a couple of sighters on goal, but missed the target.

The solitary goal came late in the second half (71′) and was much against the run of play. The South United captain Aaron D’costa dribbled past the Fateh defence and set up Jotin Singh with an easy scoring chance and the forward obliged.

The win for South United ended up being a little too late in the day. With two fixtures remaining and only five points on the board, they are out of contention for the top spot in Group B.

TRAU FC do a double over Jamshedpur FC

Group C, Imphal, 3 March 2019: TRAU FC 2-0 Jamshedpur FC (R)

Jamshedpur FC [R] crashed to their sixth defeat of the season in as many games while TRAU FC maintained their unbeaten record stretching up to six games.

A goal in either half was enough to counter the challenge by the Reserves side. The first goal came in first half stoppage time with Kivi Zhimomi scoring a tap in from a pass originating from the right wing.

Joseph Mayowa Olaleye got the second for TRAU FC with a left-footed shot after his fellow Nigerian and captain Princewill Emeka set him up.

TRAU FC who had also won the reverse fixture earlier against the Jamshedpur FC Reserves are second on the Group C table and are four points behind leaders Chhinga Veng FC.

Mohammedan SC thump ATK Reserves

Group C, Kolkata, 4 March 2019: ATK (R) 0-4 Mohammedan SC

Having won only once prior in the season, Mohammedan started the game on the front foot and attacked in numbers. ATK defended deep and kept a hold for most of the first half, but ended up conceding goals in the 43rd minute and in first half stoppage time. Stephanson Pale got on the scoresheet first followed by Prosenjit Chakraborty who scored off a rebound from the Ghanian Philip Adjah.

The ATK Reserves threatened on the counter a few times, but the Mohammedan custodian Priyant Singh kept them at bay as the reserves went into half-time trailing by two goals.

Adjah would eventually score in the 58th minute and the Ivorian forward Arthur Kouassi completed the rout with a fourth in the 77th minute – the assist was provided by the impressive Philip Adjah.

The win keeps Mohammedan SC mathematically in the equation to qualify for the next round, but their poor start to the season will most likely play spoilsport.

Chhinga Veng continue their astonishing run

Group C, Aizawl, 4 March 2019: Chhinga Veng FC 3-1 Rainbow AC

A hat-trick by Imanuel Lalthazuala see Mizo Premier League 2018 Runners up Chhinga Venga take a four point lead at the top of Group C.

The former Aizawl forward opened the scoring for Chhinga Veng in the 23rd minute much against the run of play. Rainbow AC were the dominant side in the first half, but lacked quality in the final third. They did eventually pull a goal back towards the end of the first half. The Nigerian journeyman Joel Sunday scored from what looked like an offside position to level the scores as the teams went into half-time.

Chhinga Veng looked the better team in the second half and they took the lead in the 65th minute from a penalty awarded for handball. The spot kick was turned in by Lalthazuala as the Mizo side went into the lead. Zuala would complete his hat-trick in the 89th minute and put the game to rest after Chhinga were granted another penalty kick.

After today’s defeat, Rainbow AC have a tough task in the upcoming fixtures with the second-placed team TRAU FC three points ahead of them.

Incidentally, Chhinga Veng have won all their fixtures bar the reverse fixture against Rainbow AC earlier in the season which had ended in a scoreless draw.

ARA FC keep FC Goa [R] at bay

Group A, Ahmedabad, 5 March 2019: ARA FC vs FC Goa (R)

Second division debutantes ARA FC picked up a narrow win against FC Goa to establish themselves as contenders to make it out of the preliminary round.

FC Goa started as strong favourites, but the ARA defence stood strong to deny the young Gaurs. The ARA FC custodian Abhishek Das had a particularly good game and kept a clean sheet.

The Goa reserves had a chance to convert a penalty and take the lead in the 51st minute, but the Goa forward Lalawmpuia botched the attempt and shot wide.

Late in the second half, ARA FC were given a penalty after Parminder Singh was fouled inside the box. The ARA captain Shoaib Syed Ahmed converted from the spot to give the Gujarat-based side all three points.

With Hindustan FC completely out of sorts this season, the only competitor ARA have for the top spot are Lonestar Kashmir who had beaten them earlier in the season. That fixture was the only game Lonestar have played this season due to the ongoing strife in Kashmir.

GROUP TABLES

Group A

POSTEAMPWDLGFGAGDPTS
1Bengaluru FC (R)44001921712
2ARA FC5302910-19
3FC Goa (R)31027523
4Lonestar Kashmir11003213
5Hindustan FC5005423-190

Group B

POSTEAMPWDLGFGAGDPTS
1Fateh Hyderabad540193612
2Ozone FC33005239
3South United FC6123612-65
4Kerala Blasters FC (R)511356-14
5Chennaiyin FC (R)503268-23

Group C

POSTEAMPWDLGFGAGDPTS
1Chhinga Veng FC65101221016
2TRAU FC6402108212
3Rainbow AC623111839
4ATK (R)6213710-37
5Mohammedan SC621389-17
6Jamshedpur FC (R)6006314-110
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