Rangdajied United FC, Shillong, defeated Mohammedan Sporting, Kolkata, 3-1 to gain qualification to the I League, at the Bangalore Football Stadium on Saturday.
Bhawanipore FC, Kolkata, defeated Mumbai Tigers 5-3 but it in vain as they had no chance to go higher than third spot as the top two were already decided. The victory saw Rangdajied club being crowned as the 2nd division I-League champions with a total of 19 points. Mohammedan Sporting had already ensured their place on Friday with a tally of 18 points.
Rangdajied were on 16 and had to win to make it. Rangdajied remained unbeaten in ten outings winning nine and playing out a draw in one.
They took the lead in the 5th minute to get off to a rousing start and never looked back thereafter. Shin Hojun sent a dipping lob into the goal and custodian Charles Dzisah spilled it into his goal in trying to collect.
They needed no second invitation and Restom Khriam made it 2-0 to beat the halftime whistle as Babatunde Ayomide provided him a superb pass that beat the defence all ends up. They gave Mohd Sporting no chance of a comeback. The Kolkata team too did not unduly exert themselves and Jerry Zirzingha managed to reduce the margin in the 83rd minute. However, Shin Hojun got his second goal two minutes later when he went on a solo run right in the centre to place past Charles and their supporters went wild with delight.
The tiny state of Meghalaya will have two sides in the I League next year, provided Shillong Lajong FC do not get relegated . “I cannot express how happy I am. This has to be the finest hour of the club. We have worked so hard for this day. While we were preparing for the 2nd division, I remember not allowing the players to go home for a single day. They obeyed, and today we are reaping the dividends. The day has finally arrived,” said Rangdajied secretary Karsing Kurbah.
Langsning FC, Shillong, meet Southern Samity, Kolkata, in another inconsequential game on the final day on Sunday.