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2nd Division League: Matchday 9 [11/03-13/03]

2nd Division League Matchday 9
19-year-old Stephanson Pale scored a hat-trick against TRAU FC
[Picture Credit: Mohammedan SC]

Ozone FC have Fateh Hyderabad in their sights; Chhinga Veng on the brink of qualifying and Mohammedan SC’s resurgence is well underway at the end of Matchday 9 of the 2nd Division League.

Ozone FC maintain their unbeaten run

Group B, Bengaluru, 11 March 2019: Ozone FC 3-0 Chennaiyin FC (R)

Ozone FC are firmly in contention for qualification into the next round with a resounding win over Chennaiyin FC B.

All three goals for the home team came in the first half. The former Mohun Bagan player C.S. Sabeeth converted a 1v1 situation with the keeper to give his side the lead in the 22nd minute.

It was then the turn of the Shillong youth product Shaiborlang Kharpan to get in among the goals for Ozone FC. The forward got himself a brace (33, 45+2′) to give his side a match-winning lead of three goals to nil as the teams went into half-time.

The second half saw a much improved performance from the reserves with them trying play out from the back and pushed forward in search of a goal. However, their attacking play lacked bite in the final third and they were easily dispossessed and ended up picking their third defeat of the season.

Chennaiyin FC haven’t won a match in this year’s campaign and are at the bottom of Group B. Ozone FC’s high-flying start to the season continues – they are yet to face defeat this season and are on par on top of the league with Fateh Hyderabad with a game in hand.

Chhinga Veng on the brink of qualification into the Final Round

Group C, Kolkata, 12 March 2019: ATK (R) 1-2 Chhinga Veng FC

After losing only for the first time this season against Mohammedan SC, Chhinga Veng bounced back to beat ATK Reserves and take a six-point lead at the top of Group C.

Chhinga Veng started the game on the front foot and were up 2-0 after the opening 15 minutes. Lalromawia opened the scoring in the eighth minute and the away side doubled it courtesy Imanuel Lalthazuala in the 14th minute.

The reserves managed to pull a goal back in the 22nd minute from a penalty. The captain Yumnam Gopi Singh stepped up to convert as ATK went into the half-time break trailing by a goal.

The second half was not nearly as entertaining as the first as ATK couldn’t find a goal to change the status quo and the game ended in defeat for the reserves.

FC Goa [R] blank out Hindustan FC again

Group A, Delhi, 13 March 2019: Hindustan FC 0-3 FC Goa (R)

After losing the reverse fixture 0-6, Hindustan FC suffered another heavy defeat at the hands of the FC Goa Reserves.

The first half saw the teams cancel each other out and they were scoreless at the end of it.

The second half saw the reserves look the more likely team to score. But the opening goal wouldn’t come until the 76th minute – the 19-year-old midfielder Sweden Fernandes got on the score sheet to give the young Gaurs a lead.

Two more goals would follow in quick succession to give the FC Goa Reserves an unassailable three goal lead. The substitute Aaren D. Silva scored in the 79th minute followed by Hayden Fernandes in the 86th to wrap up the game.

Hindustan FC’s woeful season continues with a sixth defeat in as many games. They are rooted at the bottom of Group A with zero points.

Mohammedan SC continue to whip up a storm in Group C

Group C, Kolkata, 13 March 2019: Mohammedan SC 6-0 TRAU FC

Enduring a poor start to the season, Mohammedan’s resurgence in their 2nd division campaign is well and truly underway. They had to make it count against their closest rival in a bid to qualify for the next round and they did it in style.

The home side predictably surged forward early on, but TRAU FC kept them at bay for most of the first half. Mohammedan eventually broke the deadlock in the 43rd minute with the 19-year-old Stephanson Pale scoring off a header from a free kick delivery.

Mohammedan were awarded a penalty for a handball inside the box in first half stoppage time. The captain Philip Adjah stepped up from the spot to make it 2-0 to the home side going into the half-time break.

A brief lull in activity followed in the second half until Philip Adjah got his second after picking up a loose ball and smashing it past the keeper. The Ghanian is now the top scorer in the 2nd Division League with seven goals.

The Langsning FC youth product Stephanson Pale added a fourth when TRAU failed to clear the lines leaving Pale to score off a half volley. It was then the turn of substitute Amirul to add a fifth (86′) and Stephanson Pale capped off the match by completing his hat-trick in the 91st minute.

The win today is Mohammedan’s third win in a row and they are now level on points with TRAU FC. Two teams will qualify from Group C. With Chhinga Veng leading the table with a six-point gap and pretty much guaranteed to go through, the second place is up for grabs for the two teams that played today.

Jamshedpur FC Reserves finally see a silver lining

Group C, Jamshedpur, 13 March 2019: Jamshedpur FC (R) 3-0 Rainbow AC

It took eight games for Jamshedpur FC to find a win and register their first points on the Group C table. Having lost all seven matches they played so far this season and a reverse fixture that went terribly wrong (Jamshedpur lost 2-6), the odds were stacked up against the home side.

The Reserves were especially dominant in the first half with a couple of chances coming their way. However, nothing came off it as the teams went into the half-time break goalless.

A 10-minute spell in the second half between the 53rd and 63rd minute saw the reserves score three goals to secure the result. The Jharkhand-based Jaypal Singh Sirka opened the scoring in the 53rd minute. Gorachand Mamdi scored in the 62nd minute and a minute later Sohrab Akhtar got the third goal to silence the visitors.

Rainbow AC’s chances of qualification to the next round don’t look too promising and they will have to rely on other results and their own performances in the upcoming matches to stand a chance to progress.

GROUP TABLES

Group A

POSTEAMPWDLGFGAGDPTS
1Bengaluru FC (R)44001921712
2ARA FC5302910-19
3FC Goa (R)420210556
4Lonestar Kashmir11003213
5Hindustan FC6006426-220

Group B

POSTEAMPWDLGFGAGDPTS
1Fateh Hyderabad641193613
2Ozone FC541082613
3South United FC7133814-66
4Kerala Blasters FC (R)612378-15
5Chennaiyin FC (R)6033611-53

Group C

POSTEAMPWDLGFGAGDPTS
1Chhinga Veng FC8611146819
2TRAU FC84131317-413
3Mohammedan SC8413179813
4ATK (R)83141212010
5Rainbow AC82421414010
6Jamshedpur FC (R)8107618-123
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