Category: 2nd Division League

2nd Division League to begin in first week of January

NEW DELHI: All India Football Federation League Committee met at the AIFF Headquarters in New Delhi today (December 7, 2018). Subrata Datta, Senior Vice President chaired the meeting while Souter Vaz, B.K. Roka and Chirag Tanna, attended the meeting. Kushal Das, General Secretary, AIFF and Sunando Dhar, CEO, I-League were also present in the meeting.

The committee reviewed submissions made by the various HERO 2nd Division League applicants under the club licensing process. After several deliberations, the committee came to the decision to confirm the participation of only the following clubs for Hero 2nd Division League 2018-19:


Ozone Football Club

South United FC

Fateh Hyderabad AFC

New Barrackpore Rainbow FC

Mohammedan Sporting Club

Chhinga Veng FC

Lonestar Kashmir

Hindustan Football Club


Tiddim Road Athletic Union FC has been granted time to complete club licensing process in the next 3 days, commencing tomorrow. The committee granted the extra time considering the recent issues with the Manipur League, which the club had no control upon and also acknowledged the fact that the club had participated in last season’s Hero 2nd Division League and qualified for the Final Round.

The committee also approved the participation of the following reserve teams of Indian Super League in Hero 2nd Division League 2018-19:- ATK, Jamshedpur FC, Bengaluru FC, FC Goa, Kerala Blasters FC and Chennaiyin FC.

As per the relevant regulations of the competition, reserve teams can only participate in the preliminary round of the tournament. The Hero 2nd Division League is scheduled to start from the first week of January 2018 and go on till mid-April.

It was also unanimously decided by the committee, that teams from Hero I-League and Hero Indian Super League and Hero 2nd Division League will have to undergo the AIFF Academy Accreditation process to be eligible to participate in the Hero Youth Leagues from the season 2019-20 onwards.

The Committee also unanimously decided on the new names for all the age group LEAGUE tournaments of AIFF. Under this change, “U-13 Youth League” from now on will be known as “Hero Sub Junior League”, the “U-15 Youth League” from now on will be known as “Hero Junior League” and “U-18 Youth League” from now on will be known as “Hero Elite League”.

The Committee also decided to hold the Hero Super Cup between last week of March till mid of April 2019.

Mohammedan SC go down against Bengaluru FC ‘B’

Bengaluru: Bengaluru FC ‘B’ bounced back from a disappointing loss in the previous round with a dominant 2-1 win over Kolkata’s Mohammedan Sporting Club in a 2nd Division League encounter at the Bangalore Football Stadium, on Sunday. Goals from Naorem Roshan Singh (37’) and Lamgoulen Hangshing (82’) on either side of a Wael Ayan (39’) equalizer for the visitors handed BFC ‘B’ their fourth win in seven games as they moved back to the top of the table in Group-C with 14 points ahead of TRAU FC (14) on head-to-head.

Going into their penultimate home game, Coach Naushad Moosa made three changes to the line-up, handing starts to goalkeeper Shainkhan CP, winger Roshan Singh and attacker Lalrintluanga Chawnglut.

After some early chances through set-pieces, the Blues finally broke the deadlock in the 37th minute. Prashanth Kalinga’s corner in from the left was cleared out and fell for Roshan who hammered home from distance on the half-volley for his first goal of the campaign.

The hosts’ joy was short-lived though as a defensive lapse allowed Mohammedan to pull level two minutes later. Substitute Tirthankar Sarkar curled in a cross from the right to find attacker Wael Ayan at the far post and Syrian finished from close range past a helpless Shainkhan to make it 1-1.

The Blues dominated majority of the proceedings in the second period and almost took the lead once again in the 55th minute. Biswa Darjee, Lamgoulen, Lalrintluanga and Naorem combined well as the hosts pushed up from the left. Lalrintluanga then played Naorem through for the final ball in the box, but his low effort is saved by the rival ‘keeper.

Bengaluru’s persistence paid off as Lamgoulen struck eight minutes from time. Prashanth Kalinga set Lalrintluanga through on the right who cut back perfectly to find Lamgoulen in the box and the striker made no mistake this time in slotting home from close range to seal the game in the Blue Colts’ favour.

Bengaluru FC ‘B’ now host Chennaiyin FC Reserves in the final home game of the season on May 5.


BANGALORE: Mohammedan Sporting Club will seek a revival of fortunes under new coach Mridul Banerjee when they take on Bengaluru FC ‘B’ in a must win Group C fixture of the 2017/18 Hero 2nd Division League at the Bangalore Football Stadium on Sunday.

Mridul Banerjee takes over the reins of the team after previous incumbent Biswajit Bhattacharya put in his papers following a five-match winless streak which leaves them on fourth place in Group C with nine points from seven matches, five points shy of leaders TRAU.

“We have to overcome this difficult phase with hard work. Players are fully aware that what happened in last few matches is simply unacceptable for a club of Mohammedan SC’s magnitude and stature. The first thing I need to do with the players is to reinforce them mentally, to make them mentally stronger. Once the head is okay, then everything else will take care of itself. The important thing is injecting them with elements of self-belief and self-confidence.” Coach Banerjee said.

“We need to prepare for the race till the end because the difference between top and bottom teams is not that big. Definitely it’s difficult but not impossible we need to give our best shot,” he added.

Although Coach has mentioned that it’s literally impossible to make any drastic changes in just 48 hours but judging by Mohammedan SC’s training session on Saturday, the former defender has definitely succeeded to inject positive energy in the side that has lost the fighting spirit and will to win.

Hopes of a revival in fortunes will be brightened further by the arrival of former skipper Rana Gharami and midfield mainstay Sheikh Faiaz who returned to the side after a impressive Hero I-League campaign for Mohun Began. However, strikers Jiten Murmu and Fikru Lemessa are out nursing injuries.

Mohammedan SC’s mental resolve will be tested by a Bengaluru FC side who will be eager to bounce back on the winning ways having suffred a 3-0 home defeat to Langsning FC in their last outing.


CHENNAI: Mohammedan Sporting Club remain unmoved in the Group C of Hero 2nd Division League after they suffered a disappointing 1-0 defeat against Chennaiyin FC reserves at the SSN College Ground in Chennai on Wednesday evening.

It was not a desirable result for the Black Panthers, who extended their winless steak to five matches.

The visitors started to get a foothold in the contest after a cagey opening, as Fikru Lemessa, Wael Ayan and Dipendu Dowary all drew routine saves out of Chennaiyin custodian Samik Mitra.

Fikru had a close chance around the 20th minute mark but Samik was equal to the task by palming his long-range strike behind the goal.

While, Mohammedan SC pressed high up it was Chennaiyin who took the lead in the 35th minute through Prasenjit Chakraborty. The striker skipped past defender Dalraj Singh before slotting past the on-rushing Subham Roy with a low shot at the near post.

Having conceded, Mohammedan SC didn’t take charge, allowing Chennaiyin to get into the match and grow in confidence with each passing minute.

Changing over, Mohammedan SC showed more endeavour in attack but they were unable to breach a home defence expertly marshalled by Sarif Khan and Hendry Antonay.

Coach Biswajit Bhattacharya introduced Tirthankar Sarkar for Ainish Zamadar midway through the half to show the club’s intentions by bringing in a midfielder for a defender.

Even with that added fire power which included Amir Hossain towards the end Mohammedan SC still didn’t test Samik. Black Panthers finished this match with seven attacking players – Fikru, Ayan, Cho Lepcha, Amir, Dowary, Tirtahnkar and Satyam Sarma – yet they still didn’t find the back of the net which sums up their season. Their defence has been strong but the attackers have failed to complement them.

Mohammedan SC, who are on fourth place in the log with 9 points from 7 matches, will play their next match against second placed Bengaluru FC “B” on April 29, 2018 at Bangalore Football Stadium.


CHENNAI: Mohammedan Sporting Club Head Coach Biswajit Bhattacharya is not throwing in the towel yet even though his side has failed to win their last four matches in the 2017/18 Hero 2nd Division League.

The Black Panthers take on Chennaiyin FC reserves midweek at the SSN College Ground in Chennai for a game described by Bhattacharya as a decisive match for their future in the league.

He said the team must shape up and start getting results as things might get tougher for them if they drop points in any of their remaining four fixtures.

The former striker told, “This is a game we have to win at all costs. We are here only for three points, nothing else.”

Bhattacharya knows Mohammedan SC will have a tough test on their hands, both in trying to overcome Chennaiyin on the field and in bearing the weight of expectation from the Black Panthers faithful.

Mohammedan SC beat Chennaiyin 4-0 in the corresponding fixture at Barasat Stadium last month. But they have since imploded, but are still in with a chance to make the final round and will be hoping their fortunes turn against Chennaiyin in their own backyard.

“We need to rectify our past mistakes and close some loopholes which have been costing us dearly. We will start the match with a belief that we can win the game,” he continued.

“We had our Team talk at training this morning and players are more determined than ever.  We have beaten them once before, so this is a chance to do it again. Our boys are ready, we made them aware of what to expect.” he added.

The gaffer also maintains that the misfiring in front of goals was “just bad luck” for the team. “My players are working hard and showing commitment, all we need is that bit of luck to score.”

On the playing front, Bhattacharya is happy to welcome back Fikru Lemessa. The striker returning from suspension and would give the side more firepower up front in the absence of Jiten Murmu as the Black Panthers skipper is nursing stomach infection.

“Fikru could be the key for us in against Chennaiyin. He is working very hard in training and has a point to prove.” said Bhattacharya.

“We need to be ready from the moment that the referee blows the whistle to start the game. Chennaiyin can’t be underestimated. They are a young side with full of energy. This means that we must be focussed from the start and take care of business with a sound game plan and a determination to win.” said Fikru.

The Black Panthers, who are on 9 points from 6 matches, can top the Group C standings, at least for the time being, should they beat what really is a timid looking Chennaiyin outfit, who won just one of their 7 league fixtures.


JAMSHEDPUR: Mohammedan Sporting Club failed to capitalise on TRAU’s slip by playing to a 1-1 draw with a 10-man Jamshedpur FC reserves side on Saturday at Jamhsedpur, which ensured the Imphal-based side remained at the summit.

The Black Panthers started this match knowing that a win would take them on top of the table. The Kolkata giants were in that position thanks to TRAU’s 2-1 loss against Bengaluru FC resreves earlier in the day.

Even with that knowledge, Mohammedan SC weren’t aggressive enough against Jamshedpur, who played with 10-men for most of the game. Wael Ayan made a strong impression on his debut as the Syrian midfielder worked his socks off upfront, covering more ground than any other Mohammedan SC player as he also tracked back to help out defensively.

The match got off to a thrilling and flying start as both sides attacked each other relentlessly and created chances at both ends during the opening stages.

Jamshedpur took a early lead in the 4th minute through Prakash Naik who scored from close range. Prakash was complimented by some lazy defending by Mohammedan SC defenders especially Echezona Anichiye.

Nonetheless, the Black Panthers’ response came in the very next minute as striker Cho Lepcha scored a delightful goal to restore the parity for Mohammedan SC after getting the ball from midfield.

Having scored, Mohammedan SC continued to create chances but Jamshedpur defenders did not allow them any space inside the box and long range efforts were easily dealt by goalkepeer Harpreet Singh.

Meanwhile, Jamshedpur suffered a massive blow in the 42nd minute when midfield mainstay Mohammed Mobashir was given marching orders after the teenager harshly fouled Ayan to earn his second booking of the game.

However, Jamshedpur barely missed the midfielder for the remainder of the half as the visitors hardly threatened them, with Harpreet on holiday in goal as the first half ended 1-1.

Changing over, Mohammedan SC were clearly the better side in terms of possession and chances created, the Black Panthers will look back at the misfortune of having been denied by the woodwork twice in quick succession in the second half from the efforts of Tirthankar Sarkar and Ayan.

The first chance fell to Tirthankar but there was nothing he could do as his thunderous shot only managed the cross-bar with Harpreet beaten just after the hour mark.

A few minutes later, lady luck once again refused to smile on the Black Panthers as Ayan could only watch in disbelief when his close range shot ricocheted off the upright with Harpreet again beaten.

Jamshedpur had their few moments on the attack with the likes of Prakash and Baset Hansdah leading the way but they could not find the back of the net.

Mohammedan SC finished the match stronger, attacking with more intent – something they should have done from the onset, as their defence has consistently gave them good cover through out the second half.

The Black Panthers, who have 9 points from 6 matches, will face Chennayin FC rererves next on April 25, 2018 at Chennai.


KOLKATA: Mohammedan Sporting Club Head Coach Biswajit Bhattacharya is optimistic that his side can end their three match winless run when they take on Jamshedpur FC (Reserves) on Saturday (April 21, 2018) afternoon.

The two sides are scheduled to lock horns in a Hero 2nd Division League Preliminary Round Group C encounter at the JRD Tata Sports Complex in Jamshedpur. Kick-Off at 4:00 PM.

Mohammedan SC won the reverse fixture when they triumphed 2-1 at Barasat Stadium last month thanks to goals from Debasish Pradhan and Jiten Mumru.

“We are currently going through a rough patch, but I strongly believe that soon we will be back at our best.” Coach Bhattacharya said.

The Black Panthers head into the game having drawn 1-1 with Langsning FC away in their previous game on last Friday, while Jamshedpur beat Chennaiyin FC 2-0 away on Sunday.

“We have been working hard to rectify our defensive errors and our finishing since resuming our training. We have to look back and check what areas we could have done better,” the gaffer stressed.

Coach Bhattacharya says he will not be hitting any panic buttons just yet despite his side’s dreadful run of form, however, continues to lament the missed chances and the nature in which they have been conceding goals.

“Having gone three matches without a win is becoming a concern for a team of Mohammedan SC’s caliber, but I am optimistic that it’s just a matter of time we return to winning ways,”  Coach Bhattacharya continued.

“We are looking forward to Jamshedpur clash, and there’s no doubt it’s going to be a tough game with both teams gunning for a victory,” he added.

Heading into the game, the Black Panthers will be without the services of Skipper Jiten Murmu and Ethiopian striker Fikru Lemessa. While Jiten is nursing stomach infection, Fikru is suspended after harshly receiving his second booking against Langsning.

Though Coach Bhattacharya has stated that the absence of two main strikers will be a major loss for his side, but will ensure that his chargers soldier on and do the business against Jamshedpur. Meanwhile, Syrian forward Wael Ayan is available for selection.


SHILLONG, 13 APRIL: Langsning FC held their own to earn a point against Mohammedan Sporting Club after a 1-1 draw in their Preliminary Round Group C fixture of the 2nd Division League at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Shillong on Friday.

It was Stephanson Pale’s goal that put Langnsing ahead in the 30th minute before Echezona Anyichie equalized for Mohammedan SC in the 54th minute.

Going into the match, Mohammedan SC Head Coach Biswajit Bhattacharya made two changes to the side that played against Langsning on Monday, as Satyam Sharma and Cho Lephcha came at the expenses of Rahul Jaiswal and Jiten Mumru, who  got sick ahead of the clash.

In a game of equal exchanges, it was Mohammedan SC who went close first when Fikru Lemessa fired from range, but the Ethiopian’s powerful effort was somehow gathered by the rival custodian Surjay Pariyar in the 13th minute.

Ten minutes later, Langsning went close when Fullmoon Mukhim set free on a counter attack. However, Mohammedan SC custodian Subham Roy pulled off a brilliant save to keep the score goalless.

Having missed a host of chances till the half hour mark, Langsning finally broke the deadlock through Stephanson after some good team work.

The Black Panthers, however, rectified their errors at the back and pushed numbers in search of an equalizer, yet Fikru’s effort lacked power and was collected by Surjay in the 34th minute.

Thereafter, the visitors continued to enjoy themselves on the ball and a good combination between Dipendu Dowary and Cho Lepcha saw the latter’s shot shaved off the right corner in the 38th minute.

With five minutes to the interval, Fikru nearly caught the Langsning defense napping when his free header was saved by Surjay from close range.

On the stroke of halftime, Dowary broke free on the left flank into the box, yet he failed to beat Surjay as his effort sailed over the crossbar.

Biswajit Bhattacharya’s side came back and immediately attacked their hosts, but Cho Lepacha missed the target form a promising position in the box to hit the side of the net.

However, the hosts would finally make it 1-1 in the 54th minute when Nigerian defender Echezona Anyichie finished from a scramble on the box to beat Surjay from close range.

Mohammedan SC gained an upper hand after their goal, but the hosts nearly scored their second goal after an hour when Stephanson was denied by Subham from a powerful shot on the edge of the box.

Towards the closing stages, Tirthankar Sarkar looked like he was brought down by Langsning defdender Restom Khriam in the box, but referee waved play on despite penalty protests from Mohammedan SC.

In the end, the Shillong-based side bagged a vital point as they sit at the second spot with 9 points from 6 matches, while Mohammedan SC on third with 8 points from 5 matches.

Mohammedan SC would take on Jamshedpur FC reserves next on April 21, 2018 at JRD Tata Sports Complex in Jamshedpur.


SHILLONG, 12 APRIL: Things tend to get harder before they get better.  With this motivating axiom in mind Mohammedan Sporting Club will continue their search for the spark that will ignite their 2017/18 2nd Division League campaign.

The Black Panthers will face Langsning FC in their second away Preliminary Round Group C fixture at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Shillong, yet another difficult assignment after they played goalless with the same opponent in the corresponding fixture at Kolkata four days ago.

In reality, Mohammedan SC were not clinical enough against Langsning. There was no intensity in their play, they kept playing long balls, losing possession cheaply and ran out of ideas when they played in the final third of the pitch.

Despite his disappointment with the draw, Mohammedan SC Head Coach Biswajit Bhattacharya is optimistic that his side will get their rhythm back that saw them winning first two matches against Jamshedpur FC (Reserves) and Chennaiyin FC (Reserves) with ease.

“The game of football is unpredictable. You can have one or two players having an off day and get away with it, but when you have five or six it’s a big problem. We have to find a way to recover the team. This is a match where we need to show character.” Coach Bhattacharya said.

Coach Bhattacharya has also lamented the goalscoring problem but remains confident of an improvement ahead of tomorrow’s match.

“We have had challenges at the final third, but I am confident that we can turn things around starting from tomorrow against Langsning. We have to work harder on the things we work on. A win will certainly help us build momentum,” the gaffer added.

The Black Panthers is placed fourth on the league table, not being where they want to be, with 7 points from 4 matches while Langsning on second with 8 points from five matches behind leaders TRAU who took their tally to 10 points from 4 matches beating Chennaiyin 2-1 in their own backyard this afternoon.


KOLKATA: Mohammedan Sporting Club Head Coach Biswajit Bhattacharya felt his side could have sneaked a win but remained content with the draw on Monday against Langsning FC in their Group C preliminary round 2nd Division League encounter at Barasat Stadium.

After losing to TRAU FC last week, the Black Panthers came with yet another disappointing performance despite a fiery atmosphere created by their passionate fans.

Though it’s still early in the league, but Coach Bhattacharya admits they could have supplied their supporters with more.

“Looking at how the game unfolded, we did not create any clear-cut chances even though we could see they sit on top of the box trying to find a way,” he said post-match.

What’s interesting to note for Coach Bhattacharya the fact that they never managed to test Langsning custodian Surjay Kumar Pariyar in one-on-one scenarios.

“Today we never saw the keeper one-on-one, which is something we do very often and we regret that.”

“We could have allowed our centre-backs to step up and press in the midfield, we did that in the second half, that’s why our game got better. With the match of this nature, with a professional approach you win it on set-plays, but unfortunately we didn’t capitalise.” he added.

“Overall one point, we will take it. For the people that wanted goals unfortunately we could not give them.” the gaffer concluded.