Chhinga Veng are through to the final round; Mohammedan SC, TRAU FC and Rainbow AC are all in the running for the second qualifying spot in Group C and Ozone FC remain unbeaten and on top of Group B at the end of Matchday 10 of the 2nd Division League.
Lonestar Kashmir hold Bengaluru FC B to a draw
Group A, Bengaluru, 15 March 2019: Bengaluru FC (R) 0-0 Lonestar Kashmir
The Lonestar custodian Rashid Nalakath turned in a spectacular performance in goal to keep Bengaluru FC (R) at bay and salvage a vital point for his side.
The Bengaluru colts who had won four out of four games they played so far started well and in the first half, they were literally parked in the opposition half. A combination of poor finishing, last ditch defending and Rashid Nalakath meant the Blues could not turn their advantage into a goal in the first half.
The second half saw Lonestar find their feet in the game and were able to keep their shape and resist Bengaluru. Lonestar had a couple of chances against the run of play, but couldn’t make it count as the game ended in a stalemate.
This was only the second game of the campaign for Lonestar after most of their home matches were postponed. The home fixtures will be scheduled once all their away engagements are complete.
Five star peformance by Ozone FC
Group B, Kochi, 16 March 2019: Kerala Blasters FC (R) 0-5 Ozone FC
Ozone FC picked up their fifth win of the season with a 5-0 drubbing of the home side.
Shaiborlang Kharpan who got himself a brace in the previous game against Chennaiyin FC [R] opened the scoring for the visitors in the sixth minute. Prabin Subba got himself a goal in the 19th minute followed by the Nigerian centre back Chika Wali in the 25th.
Ozone went into the half-time break 3-0 up. They would go onto score two more goals in the second half with the former Mohun Bagan player Sabeeth Sathyan scoring a brace (58′, 84′). A 5-0 win for the Bangalore team as they completed a double over their hosts.
With two games left in the season, Ozone are undefeated in the league and are strong favourites to qualify out of the group – Fateh Hyderabad are three points behind Ozone and need Ozone to slip up to have a chance to go through.
Rainbow AC spring a surprise
Group C, Kolkata, 17 March 2019: Mohammedan SC 0-2 Rainbow AC
After a lackluster run of form where they lost twice and drew twice, New Barrackpore Rainbow AC ended Mohammedan’s run of three wins with a 2-0 win.
The usual Mohammedan surge forward early in the game was cut short when the Nigerian forward Joel Sunday scored for Rainbow in the 4th minute.
Chasing the game, Mohammedan attacked in numbers with Philip Adjah driving them forward, but the Rainbow defence of Enjamul Haque and Emmanuel Chigozie were solid at the back.
Eventually, a chance at the other end materialised – Joel Sunday setup Sourav Roy and the midfielder smashed it in to the top corner of the net.
With Chhinga Venga through to the final round, the second qualification spot is tantalisingly positioned. Rainbow and Mohammedan need TRAU FC to slip up and for them to win or draw in their last fixtures to stand a chance; TRAU FC are up against table-toppers Chhinga Veng in their final fixture – win and they are through to the final round while a draw would take their destiny away from their hands.
TRAU FC held to a draw
Group C, Imphal, 17 March 2019: TRAU FC 1-1 ATK (R)
ATK reserves pulled a goal back in the second half to deny TRAU FC an easier path to the final round.
It was TRAU FC who took the lead in the first half courtesy the Nigerian Princewill Emeka who scored in the 15th minute. With six goals, the forward is joint second with Joel Sunday on the top scorer list this season.
Trailing by a goal, ATK set out to look for a response in the second half. They would eventually score with captain Yumnam Gopi Singh getting his fourth goal of the season in the 69th minute.
The match would end in a stalemate and leaves TRAU FC the uphill task of beating Chhinga Veng at home in Aizawl to qualify for the next. They have the added burden of knowing Chhinga Veng got the better of them at home earlier in the season. Draw or lose and they will be at the mercy of Mohammedan SC and Rainbow AC.
Chhinga Veng are through to the final round
Group C, Aizawl, 18 March 2019: Chhinga Veng FC 2-2 Jamshedpur FC (R)
Chhinga Veng got themselves a point and other results went their way making them the first team out of the preliminary round. For Jamshedpur FC Reserves, this is only the second time this season they managed to avoid defeat.
The home side who have been a revelation this season predictably started the game on the front foot. They took the lead in the 26th minute through Lalmuanzova and doubled it in the 30th from a penalty (30′) which was converted by Lalrammaura Rammawia.
Up by two goals going into the second half, the side from Aizawl looked on course to picking up a win. But the reserves would upend the cart – A goal in the 72′ came from the forward Subhankar Sana to cut the deficit to one goal.
Chhinga Veng ended up helping Jamshedpur FC complete the comeback after conceding a penalty. Jaypal Singh Sirka stepped up to covert in the 88th minute to level the scores as the match came to a close.
|1||Bengaluru FC (R)||5||4||1||0||19||2||17||13|
|3||FC Goa (R)||4||2||0||2||10||5||5||6|
|3||South United FC||7||1||3||3||8||14||-6||6|
|4||Kerala Blasters (R)||7||1||2||4||7||13||-6||5|
|5||Chennaiyin FC (R)||6||0||3||3||6||11||-5||3|
|1||Chhinga Veng FC||9||6||2||1||16||8||8||20|
|6||Jamshedpur FC (R)||9||1||1||7||8||20||-12||4|