Champion Mohammedan Sporting ends I-League Qualifiers campaign undefeated

Mohammedan Sporting continued its unbeaten run at the I-League Qualifiers as it played out a goalless draw with FC Bengaluru United in their final fixture on Monday.

Mohammedan Sporting

Mohammedan Sporting players celebrate winning the I-League Qualifiers. The side will play in the upcoming season of the I-League.   -  AIFF

Mohammedan Sporting continued its unbeaten run at the I-League Qualifiers as it played out a goalless draw with FC Bengaluru United in their final fixture on Monday at the Salt Lake Stadium. Mohammedan Sporting has already qualified for the upcoming I-League season.

Mohammedan topped the table with 10 points while Bengaluru finished third with five points.

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Both sides had their share of chances in the opening minutes, and Mohammedan nearly conceded the 25th minute. Goalkeeper Priyant Singh failed to collect a corner after coming off his line but was lucky as the rebound fell kindly for him to collect at the second time of asking.

Priyant was again called into action two minutes later and picked up a booking for a foul on Mohammad Rehbar. Ronaldo Oliveira found Rehbar with a perfectly weighted pass over the Mohammedan defence, and the midfielder managed to poke the ball past the onrushing goalkeeper who subsequently brought him down with a late tackle. Opoku took charge of the resulting free-kick but could not find the target.

Willis Plaza exchanged a quick one-two with Sattyam Sharma in the 36th minute and unleashed a powerful shot looking for the top corner. However, Bengaluru's Kunzang Bhutia was well-positioned to make the save.

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Both teams made changes at half-time with Shreyas Ketkar and Subash Singh coming on for Bengaluru and Mohammedan respectively.

Subash was immediately in the thick of things with a driving run into the box in the 47th minute. He was tackled by Amey Ranawade but the ball rebounded fortuitously against the forward and bounced just wide of the post with the 'keeper well-beaten by the lucky deflection.

Just around the hour mark, Bengaluru substitute Ketkar sent a powerful drive which seemed destined to find the top corner but Mohammedan captain Priyant had the angle covered with a brilliant dive.

After the match, Mohammedan's interim coach Saheed Ramon said, “The boys are feeling very, very happy as are the officials and everyone is rejoicing. This was the last game we played and it was a little bit difficult as the team we played against came all out to win. At the end, both teams had their chances but we finished undefeated.”

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Reflecting on their return to the Hero I-League, captain Priyant said, “It feels great to have won this trophy and return to the Hero I-League after a gap of many years, especially for the supporters who have been waiting for us to return.”

- Bhawanipore ends campaign on winning note -

Bhawanipore FC ended its campaign on a high note as it beat ARA FC 2-0 at the Kalyani Stadium. Bhawanipore finished with nine points from four outings, one point behind champion Mohammedan SC, while ARA signed off with two points.

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