Mohammedan SC remained unbeaten in the campaign while Bhawanipore FC finished a strong second as the Kolkata teams dominated the 2020 I-League Qualifiers.
Perfect 10 for Mohammedan
Mohammedan Sporting remained unbeaten in the I-League qualifiers after a goalless draw against FC Bengaluru United (FCBU) in the final fixture of the campaign at the Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Stadium in Kolkata.
Mohammedan finished at the top of the table with 10 points while FCBU finished third with five points.
On a wet outfield, both teams went toe-to-toe. Hira Mondal’s shot in the third minute forced FCBU goalkeeper, Kunzang Bhutia, into making an early save.
The game opened up creating chances at both ends. Mohammedan’s Sattyam Sharma dragged his shot wide while FCBU’s Azharuddin Mallick failed to latch on to Opoku’s through ball.
Vanlalbiaa Chhangte, who has had an impressive showing in the campaign, was a constant threat to FCBU’s defense; while Ronaldo Oliveira threatened to break through Mohammedan’s defence with his pace.
The second half saw Mohammedan’s custodian, Priyant Singh, the busier of the two goalkeepers. His save off substitute Ketkar in the 60th minute was the pick of the lot.
The 0-0 scoreline helped maintain Mohammedan’s unbeaten run in the tournament as they make their return to the I-League after a seven-year hiatus.
In the post-match interview, Priyant Singh has had his eyes set on the I-League title. “We hope to be champions in this season’s I-League as well,” said the Mohammedan skipper.
From the late, late winner against Garhwal to the commanding win over ARA; the dismissal of their head coach and the accusations of match fixing; a crucial win over Bhawanipore to seal their spot and an unbeaten run – it has been an entertaining 11 days for Mohammedan SC as the deserved winners of the tournament make a welcome return to the I-League.
Bhawanipore FC sign off in style
Two goals in a space of four minutes wrapped up a comfortable win for Bhawanipore FC against ARA FC on the final matchday of the I-League Qualifiers 2020.
Having conceded the I-League spot to Mohammedan SC, Bhawanipore coach Sankarlal Chakraborty made eight changes for the match at the Kalyani Stadium. Their opponents, ARA FC, had picked up two points in the campaign.
Both goals were headed in. In the 17th minute, Avinabo Bag curled in a ball into the box. Jiten Murmu lost his marker and sent in a low header to open the account.
Four minutes later, Supriya Pandit doubled the lead by heading in a corner from Faisal Ali.
After the break, ARA nearly pulled one back in the 48th minute. Pratik Swamy, who has been impressive in the campaign, waltzed through the Bhawanipore defence from the left. Suvam Sen, the Bhawanipore goalie, managed to make a sharp save.
Two minutes later, Philip Adjah could have put the match to bed. Jiten Murmu’s ball into the box was shot high above the woodwork by the Ghanaian.
Suvam Sen was called upon to make another save in the 54th minute as ARA continued to push the Kolkata team.
The scoreline did not change and Sankarlal Chakraborty’s Bhawanipore team finished the campaign on nine points.