Ozone FC, Chhinga Veng FC and TRAU FC are through to the final round. Lonestar Kashmir’s home games are moved to Katra and Mohammedan SC cry foul at the end of Matchday 11 of the 2nd Division League.
FC Goa [R] ease past Lonestar Kashmir
Group A, Bambolim, 19 March 2019: FC Goa (R) 4-0 Lonestar Kashmir
After managing to scrape together a point against the Bengaluru FC reserves in their previous game, Lonestar suffered their first defeat of the season against FC Goa [R] on their travels.
The forward Aaren D. Silva opened the scoring for the young Gaurs in the 39th minute. The home team would take the solitary goal lead into the half-time break.
In the second half, the reserves asserted their dominance further and scored three more goals. The captain and former Churchill man Meldon D’Silva scored the second goal in the 54th minute followed by Aaren D. Silva who completed his brace in the 65th minute. The Mizo forward Lalawmpuia added another in the 70th minute to cap off a comprehensive win for the Gaurs.
Lonestar have played only three games so far and their next fixture is away against Hindustan FC. They haven’t played a single home fixture due to the security situation in Kashmir. Their home matches will now be played at the Vaishno Devi Shrine Board Sports Complex in Katra, Jammu. Their first home fixture will be against Bengaluru FC B on March 27.
Bengaluru FC B remain unbeaten
Group A, Bengaluru, 20 March 2019: Bengaluru FC (R) 2-0 ARA FC
Bengaluru FC [R] continued to sit pretty on top of Group A with a win over ARA FC. The home team as they’ve done the entire tournament started the game well and were perched in the opposition half for most of the first period.
But the Ahmedabad-based ARA FC held on and came very close to a goal late in the first half. A free kick delivery from the right flank into the box by Anup Theres Raj caused all sorts of problems – but ARA couldn’t find the net in the ensuing scramble.
Bengaluru FC B got themselves on the score sheet very early in the second half. Naorem Roshan Singh captalised on a goalkeeping error by the ARA FC custodian Abhishek Das and slotted home from close range (47′). ARA tried to find their way back into the game using long ball tactics, but the forward Parminder Singh did not have the strength or pace to worry the Bengaluru defence.
The Blues continued pressing in search of a goal and were especially potent on the right flank – Leon Augustine and Namgyal Bhutia were ably supported by Altamesh Sayed in midfield. Eventually, they would get a second in the 73rd minute. Altamesh Sayed with a quick give and go found himself in space in the box and calmly slotted the ball past the keeper.
The 2-0 win marks Bengaluru FC reserves’ fifth win from six matches.
Kerala Blasters Reserves push Chennaiyin FC B further south
Group B, Chennai, 21 March 2019: Chennaiyin FC (R) 0-1 Kerala Blasters FC (R)
The Chennaiyin FC reserves slumped to another defeat at home and their search for a win in the 2nd division league this season continues.
The home team started well and dominated the proceedings in the first quarter. Thereafter Kerala Blasters started to get on the ball, but the Chennaiyin defence with Prabin Tigga at the helm kept them in check. Eventually, a shot from long range by Pragyan Sundar Gogoi put the Blasters in the lead in the 39th minute.
The game opened up in the second half and saw some end-to-end football with both teams creating chances. Chasing the game, Chennaiyin reserves had the more potent opportunities, but they could not find the net and the game ended in a defeat for the home side.
Kerala have finished their 2nd Division campaign and are in third place currently. Chennaiyin FC [R] are bottom of Group A and play Fateh Hyderabad on 26th March in their final league fixture.
Ozone FC clinch qualification into the final round
Group B, Bengaluru, 21 March 2019: Ozone FC 4-2 Fateh Hyderabad AFC
Ozone FC are through to the final round at the expense of their nearest rivals Fateh Hyderabad in a riveting encounter at the Bangalore Football Stadium.
Fateh Hyderabad needed to win this game to prevent Ozone FC from going through and to stand a chance to qualify. They started the game with more urgency and looked good early in the first half. But Ozone who are undefeated this season grew in confidence and got the first goal in the 27th minute with Sabeeth Sathyan scoring after being setup by Prabin Subba.
Ozone FC would double their lead 10 minutes later with the 17-year-old Manvir Singh smashing the ball past the keeper. Ozone were 2-0 up going into the half-time break.
After the second half resumed, Fateh pulled a goal back almost immediately with Naro Hari Shrestha scoring in the 46th minute. Ozone FC restored their two-goal lead in the 52nd minute with the impressive Prabin Subba the goal scorer.
For much of the second half, Fateh Hyderabad were all over Ozone FC as the game ebbed and flowed between the two sides. Fateh would reduce the deficit to a single goal again with the Ghanian Edmond Peprah unleashing a fantastic strike from distance.
Trailing 2-3, Fateh continued pushing forward and had the bulk of chances, but the final ball let them down. A couple of offside calls went against them as well and eventually their resistance came to an end when Ozone were awarded a penalty late in the second half. The veteran Sampath Kuttymani would step up to convert from the spot to put the game beyond Fateh.
Mohammedan SC win over Jamshedpur FC proves to be not enough
Group C, Jamshedpur, 22 March 2019: Jamshedpur FC (R) 2-4 Mohammedan SC
After faltering to a defeat against Rainbow AC in their last game, the Black Panthers needed to win today’s game and hope other Group C fixtures worked in their favour. Unfortunately, they didn’t and Mohammedan finished third (first two teams qualify) at the end of their 2nd Division campaign.
Mohammedan took the lead at The Furnace with the Ivorian Arthur Kouassi scoring in the 13th minute. Sohrab Akhtar would pull a goal back for the home side in the 15th minute to level the scores. At this point, Mohammedan’s Philip Adjah took over the game and by the 52nd minute in the second half completed his hat-trick to give his side a 4-1 lead. Adjah’s goals came in the 17th, 28th (Penalty) and 52nd minute and with 10 goals, he is the current top scorer in the league.
The Jamshedpur reserves got a goal back to cut the deficit to two in the 58th minute from a penalty which was converted by Subhankar Sana. The home team who have won only once this season could not put up enough resistance to get back in the game as the match ended in Mohammedan’s favour.
ATK Reserves put a lid on Rainbow’s hopes
Group C, Kolkata, 22 March 2019: Rainbow AC 1-2 ATK (R)
New Barrackpore Rainbow AC needed a win today to stay in contention for the final round, but it in the end it didn’t end up making a difference – TRAU FC picked up a win over Chhinga Veng to go through to the final round in second place.
The home team needing a result predictably started the game on the front foot as they looked to set the pace. However, ATK had the better chances and the captain Yumnam Gopi Singh got his fifth goal of the season in first half stoppage time.
Rainbow AC would pull a goal back early in the second half (51′) courtesy the Nigerian forward Joel Sunday’s shot which went into the goal off a deflection.
As the game trudged along late into the second half, the 17-year-old Thomyo L. Shimray got on to the end of a ball from Umair Saiyyad and finished past the keeper in the 88th minute. There was very little time for Rainbow to react as the ATK Reserves clung on to pick up their fourth win of the season.
TRAU script a mini-miracle and are through to the final round
Group C, Aizawl, 22 March 2019: Chhinga Veng FC 2-3 TRAU FC
With Mohammedan SC and Rainbow AC hot on their heels, TRAU FC needed a win over table-toppers Chhinga Venga to retain second position and go through to the final round. TRAU also had to contend with the fact that they lost against the same opposition earlier in the season at home.
TRAU had the early initiative in the game and took the lead in the eighth minute and the 19-year-old Shougrakpam Netrajit Singh was the goal scorer. TRAU would hold the lead going into the first half break. In the second half, TRAU doubled their lead from Moirangthem Deepak Singh’s effort in the 58th minute and for a few minutes it looked like it was smooth sailing for Tiddim Road Athletic Union into the next round.
However, Chhinga Veng, having already qualified for the final round decided to mount a comeback. They pulled two goals back in the 64th and 73rd minute to level the scores. The goalscorers for Chhinga Veng were Vanlalbiaaa Chhangte and Lalliansanga.
With their hard word undone, TRAU FC looked on in despair. However the Nigerian Princewill Emeka scored his seventh goal of the season in the 78th minute to put his team through to the next round.
TRAU FC qualify as the second team from Group C alongside Chhinga Veng FC who finished top of the table.
Mohammedan SC have indicated to the AIFF that the match between Chhinga Veng FC and TRAU FC was fixed and have written a letter to the federation. The letter itself is factually devoid and the allegations seem preposterous and unfounded at this point in time.
|1||Bengaluru FC (R)||6||5||1||0||21||2||19||16|
|2||FC Goa (R)||5||3||0||2||14||5||9||9|
|3||Kerala Blasters FC (R)||8||2||2||4||8||13||-5||8|
|4||South United FC||7||1||3||3||8||14||-6||6|
|5||Chennaiyin FC (R)||7||0||3||4||6||12||-6||3|
|1||Chhinga Veng FC||10||6||2||2||18||11||7||20|
|6||Jamshedpur FC (R)||10||1||1||8||10||24||-14||4|