Category: News

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:

CLUB

Ozone Football Club

South United FC

Fateh Hyderabad AFC

New Barrackpore Rainbow FC

Mohammedan Sporting Club

Chhinga Veng FC

Lonestar Kashmir

Hindustan Football Club

ARA FC

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 oust ASEB to reach Gold Cup final

KOKRAJHAR, BODOLAND, ASSAM: Mohammedan Sporting Club booked their place in the final of the 19th Bodoland Martyrs Gold Cup after they edged past Assam State Electricity Board (ASEB) 1-0 in the semifinal played at KDSA Stadium in Bodoland, Assam on Friday.

Skipper Philip Adjah Tetteh continued his rich vein of form by scoring the winner in the 35th minute.

Going into the match coach Raghunath Nandy made a couple of changes to side by handing starts to Firoz Ali and trialist Saubhagya Majhi at the expense of Debasish Pradhan and Satyam Sharma.

The opening 10 minutes was a rather scrappy affair, with both teams unable to hold onto the ball long enough to create any decent scoring opportunities.

The first effort on goal only came in the 15th minute, when Charles Atcha met a left-sided cross from Safiul Rahman, but he headed his effort wide of the ASEB goal.

Four minutes later Adjah came bitterly close to opening the lead but his close range effort was superbly saved by the ASEB custodian Daoga Brahma.

Adjah then continued to terrorize the ASEB defense, setting up another two chances for Charles, but the Ivorian forward squandered both.

Mohammedan SC, thereafter, continued to press on, and it was no surprise when they took the lead in the 35th minute though Adjah.

It was a goal made in football heaven, involving a glorious passing movement featuring a number of players, and with classic one-touch football, they carved open the ASEB defense, leaving the Ghanaian with a simple tap-in.

From the goal onwards, Black Panthers dominated the proceedings, but poor decision-making let them down in the final third which saw Nandy’s charges went into the breather with only a solitary goal lead.

The second-half saw Mohammedan SC continue to attack with ease, but Daoga kept his side in the contest with a number of fine saves, including one to deny Adjah his brace in the 54th minute.

However, some sloppy defending from Black Panthers 15 minutes into the second-half gave ASEB the chance to equalize, but Laltu Mondal did very well as he came out to block Jwambla Brahma from close range, before Karma Narzary missed the target on the follow-up.

Mohammedan SC then took the ball up to the opposite end of the pitch and looked set to double their lead when Charles arrived unmarked in the box to get on the end of a cross, but his header was brilliantly tipped over the crossbar by Daoga.

The game remained on a knife-edge, making for riveting viewing as both teams pushed and probed for a breakthrough.

ASEB were certainly still very much in the game, and Laltu was at it again when he showed fantastic reflexes to keep out Karma’s point-blank volley in the 76th minute.

Opportunities then followed for Black Panthers to kill off the game, but Firoz Ali miscued with a back-post volley, before Adjah had a shot in the box blocked.

While the game neared the conclusion ASEB players started protesting against referee’s every decision and didn’t want to continue playing. Situation went from bad to worse when fans invaded the pitch and Mohammedan SC players had to be escorted from the field

When the game finally resumed, Mohammedan SC were able to survive the final few minutes without much threat to their goal to setup a final date with old foes Oil India on Sunday.

Bordoloi Trophy 2018: It was a satisfactory result, says Raghu Nandy

BHUBANESHWAR: Mohammedan Sporting Club coach Raghunath Nandy has expressed his immense pride in his players after they claimed the title in the 65th Bordoloi Trophy with a 3-1 victory over Oil India in the final played at the Nehru Stadium in Guwahati on Thursday.

“I am no good for words right now. I’m just really just super proud of everyone,” an emotional Raghu Nandy said.

“It was a satisfactory result and we worked very hard. I won’t take anything away from Oil India. They showed how good they are. It was tough, it was a final and you have got to grind it out.” he added.

“There’s nothing much to say.” These were the words of Oil India coach Subrata Bhattacharya (Jr.) after having watched his side’s unacceptable showing.

“Mohammedan deserved this win,” added Bhattacharya. “They showed hunger and they didn’t allow us space to play, credit to them.”

“We made a lot of errors and in such high level competitive games, if you make such errors, you will pay for the prize. It was not a bad performance from my team. I regret that we were not effective and the team was not at it’s best level,” he concluded.

Bordoloi Trophy 2018: Kamran downplays revenge factor following Mohammedan’s semifinal win over BSF

GUWAHATI: Mohammedan Sporting Club defender Kamran Farooque says gaining revenge was not Black Panthers’ primary motivation heading into their 2018 Bordoloi Trophy semifinal victory over BSF Jalandhar on Tuesday.

Mohammedan SC edged BSF 6-5 on penalties after 90 minutes of goalless football at the Jawahar Lal Nehru Stadium in Guwahati.

Black Panthers set up a Final date with Oil India and eased the disappointment of their 4-3 tiebreaker loss to BSF in the Independence Day Cup final in Nagaon last month.

Kamran, who put on a Man of the Match worthy performance, said: “It wasn’t so much about revenge. It was more about getting to another cup final with a chance to win a trophy.”

Mohammedan SC were dominant in the match but they could not convert their dominance into goals.

“It was a very good game. But we should have killed the game in the first half. We didn’t finish our chances. We showed a little bit of impatience in the final third.” Kamran observes.

Bordoloi Trophy 2018: Mohammedan not interested in revenge mission against BSF Jalandhar

GUWAHATI: Mohammedan Sporting Club coach Raghunath Nandy has downplayed suggestions that his side will be out to seek revenge against BSF Jalandhar when the two sides meet in the first semifinal of 2018 Bordoloi Trophy on Tuesday at Jawahar Lal Nehru Stadium in Guwahati, kick-off 3:00 pm.

Mohammedan SC fell short 4-3 on penalties against BSF in the Independence Day Cup final in Nagaon last month, yet Nandy insists his team have gotten over that disappointment and does not want to look at what happened in past.

“There is no sense of revenge. They won in Nagaon and we can do nothing about that. If we win tomorrow against BSF, we will not win Independence Day Cup final. We have got no complaints with the result, they deserved it. That chapter is closed. This is a new game. Teams like Mohammedan SC is not motivated by grudges but are inspired by a desire to improve and do better,” Nandy said on the eve of the clash.

The two sides have experienced different paths to the semi-finals. While it wasn’t without challenges for Mohammedan SC, they became the only team to progress with the full nine available points which also makes them overwhelming favourites for the encounter.

BSF, on the other hand, had a bumpy ride to the semi-finals. After 2-0 against Oil India on the opening day, an 1-1 draw against Assam State Electricity Board (ASEB) followed by 2-1 victory over Malki SC saw them out of the group stage ahead of ASEB.

Nandy, however, pointed out play-off matches are always unpredictable. “It will be a matter of who will the coolest nerves and getting into rhythm first, who will triumph.”

The former defender also conceded there is pressure on the players to bring home the goods.

“There is always pressure when you play for Mohammedan SC and players have learnt to handle it. It’s a privilege to be in this potion so we’ll take that pressure.” he explained.

Going into the semifinal, what will be key for Mohammedan SC is continuing that momentum and continuing to apply what they have learned thus far.

Mohammedan SC has a full complement to choose from, a number key players including Philip Adjah, Kamran Farooque and Prosenjit Chakraborty were rested against TRAU FC in their last group game, will be restored to the starting line up.

BSF shootout Mohammedan to crown I-Day Cup champions

NAGAON ASSAM: BSF Jalandhar clinched the title in the 70th Independence Day Cup beating Mohammedan Sporting 4-3 in a penalty shootout following a thrilling 1-1 draw on Saturday.

Mohammedan took the lead through Charles Atcha in the 20th minute before Sadam Hussain equalized for BSF in the 43rd minute.

BSF attempted to make an early mark on the match with a neat Ramakanta Hembram chip for Jitinder Rawat in the first minute signalling their intentions.

However, as the match commenced Mohammedan slowly imposed their style on the match, slowing it in the midfield and then attacking into the final third at pace.

Having missed some half chances till the 20th minute mark Mohammedan broke the deadlock through Charles who scored from Philip Adjah’s pass.

Black Panthers then took control of the match. The Kolkata outfit probably should have scored a couple more goals before the break, but their finishing let them down.

Mohammedan looked dangerous every time they pushed forward and Sumit Ghosh tried to curl the ball into the top corner but BSF goalkeeper Harpreet Singh produced a fine save to deny the attacker in the 39th minute.

While Mohammedan pushed high up BSF managed to restore the parity against the run of the play as Sadam took advantage of a defensive error to beat Mohammedan custodian Priyant Singh from close range in the 43rd minute as the both teams went into the breather with scores locked 1-1.

BSF came back into the second-half with more purpose and after a couple of changes early on they started to look more threatening out wide.

Ramakanta had the best opportunity in the opening minutes of the second-half when his free-kick was tipped over by Priyant.

Although BSF dominated possession in the second-half they struggled to get near enough to their opponents goal to really trouble them, managing just two shots in 45 minutes.

But it was hardly much better at the other end with Mohammedan restricted to just three attempts on goal themselves.

Meanwhile, Mohammedan was to deal with a blow after 74 minutes when Priyant injured himself and had to leave the field paving way to Sourav Chakraborty, who made his first appearance of the season.

Despite the best efforts of both sides it seemed goals weren’t on the agenda for the evening as they went through regulation time with scores locked 1-1 and the match headed to directly to a penalty shootout.

It was nail-biting stuff as the players went through the motions of a penalty shootout taking the crowd packed into the stands at Nurul Amin Stadium on the roller-coaster ride right alongside them.

In the end it seems experience paid off with the BSF holding their nerve to slot four goals to Mohammedan’s three.

Mohammedan, BSF set for final showdown

NAGAON, ASSAM: Mohammedan Sporting Club would look to clinch their first Independence Day Cup title in eleven years when they face defending champions BSF Jalandhar in the final of the 70th Independence Day Cup at Nurul Amin Stadium this evening.

These are two most successful teams in the 70-year history of the competition, with BSF unrivalled on 8 titles and Mohammedan five-time winners.

The two teams have faced a series of obstacles on the road to the final but with their 2-1 victory over I-League champions Minerva Punjab in semifinal, Mohammedan set to enter the final in higher spirits. Whereas BSF head into the final on the back of a closely fought 1-0 victory against Oil India Dhulijan in a game which saw them fail to reach their full potential.

Mohammedan have emerged the overwhelming favourites at the tournament thus far, but face their biggest test yet in a BSF team that knows all about them, having faced the Kolkata outfit earlier in a redundant Group A game.

Looking ahead BSF coach S.S Virk knows they’re going up against a tough opponent in Mohammedan but have done everything in their power to prepare for the encounter.

Going into the final, BSF’s strategy would be simple as they will be looking frustrate Mohammedan by keeping things compact and cutting off space before using speed on the transition in the form of Jitinder Rawat, Ramakanta Hembram and Avinash Thapa who all have the capacity to stretch Mohammedan’s defense.

The best match to date for Mohammedan was their semi-final against Minerva with the squad seemingly finding the right balance – at just the right time.

Satyam Sharma was in control in the middle of the park while Philip Adjah was looking lethal up front any time they were in possession.

Going into the final, what will be key for Mohammedan is continuing that momentum and continuing to apply what they have learned thus far.

Part of their strength came from surprising their opponents with their speed, power and hunger.

Coach Raghunath Nandi has prepared his troops well, identifying the key strengths of his personnel and setting up a system to maximize the team’s effectiveness. He never got carried away with any one victory, pointing out areas for improvements whilst highlighting the strengths of his team.

Nandi knows what to expect from this exciting young side who will need to lift their game one more time to secure the silverware.

And with a hugely excited crowd backing this young side to continue their glorious run, there’s every chance they could once more lift their game to try and deliver what the fans want.

Interestingly, Mohammedan SC won their last Independence Day Cup title in 2007 beating BSF 3-2 on penalties.

Mohammedan edge Minerva to setup BSF date in final

NAGAON, ASSAM: Mohammedan Sporting Club edged past Minerva Punjab FC 2-1 in the second semifinal to book their place into the final of the 70th Independence Day Cup in Nagaon, Assam.

Ghanaian goal-machine Phillip Adjah (44th and 61st) scores twice for Black Panthers while Atinder Mani (79th) pulled a goal back for Minerva at Nurul Amin Stadium on Friday.

Mohammedan SC dominated first-half ball possession, but did not do much to threaten the opposition goal, while Minerva, who were pressed back for the majority of the half, did well to absorb the pressure and looked dangerous on the few times they attacked.

The first-half was characterized by a lack of goal scoring opportunities from both sides. In the infant stages of the game, Mohammedan SC had shown promise with some impressive passes, but when they resorted to long balls, Minerva dealt with them with confidence.

However, the Black Panthers were rewarded for their persistent efforts as Adjah ran on to a pass from Prosenjit Chakraborty and rifled a right-foot shot past goalkeeper Bhaskar Roy in the 44th minute to give his side the lead going into the breather.

Mohammedan SC goalkeeper Priyant Singh was a spectator in the first-half, but he saw more action in the second, keeping out an angled drive from William Opoku before twice having to punch away an awkward aerial ball in the 54th minute as Minerva began to put more pressure on the Mohammedan SC defense looking for the equalizer.

Despite the momentum turning in Minerva’s favour, Mohammedan SC fought back to add a second when Adjah slotted home from close range after rounding Bhaskar in the 61st minute.

Meanwhile, Minerva did not lose hope as they kept attacking with intensity and pulled a goal back through Atinder in the 79th minute.

The match started to become a little tenser as the clock counted down with Minerva showing great determination in their pursuit of an equalizer, while Mohammedan SC remained solid at the back.

Minerva, to their credit, never gave up but it appeared as if getting on the score sheet just wasn’t to be for the side today with every shot went anywhere but on target as Mohammedan SC held on on for a well-deserved win.

“We always think of winning whatever game we are going into. I wished to play a better game especially in the second-half, but we were facing a very strong team in Minerva. They were very dangerous especially in the second-half. We are happy to win such a tough game. We have the final in just 24 hours but we have to adapt with that. I promise our supporters back home that we will fight till the last second,” said coach Raghunath Nandi.

“I don’t even have words to explain what we feel as a team. We went into this game with belief that we can do it. The players gave it their all on the pitch and now we have victory. ” Adjah said after the final whistle.

Mohammedan SC will now take on BSF Jalandhar, who beat Oil India 1-0 thanks to Ramakanta Hembram’s 88th minute goal in the first semifinal, in the final tomorrow at 6 pm.

Mohammedan, Minerva square off for a berth in I-Day Cup final

NAGAON, ASSAM: In what many fans believe is the real 70th Independence Day Cup championship clash, Mohammedan Sporting Club and Minerva Punjab will square off at Nurul Amin Stadium on Friday for a spot in final, kick-off 6:30 pm.

Assamese media and fans have not only labelled Mohammedan SC as favorites to win this encounter but to also win the entire thing. However, coach Raghunath Nandi knows it very well that it’s a big ask for his young side and the veteran tactician believes the side has the talent and mental strength to do well.

Nandi has made it clear that he would be expecting a challenging encounter with Minerva, but he is unfazed by the pedigree of the reigning I-League champions.

“We have a lot of respect for Minerva but we are ready to face them. I think we are well prepared as we can be for this match. We need to keep our composure and I am positive that the players will rise to the occasion.”

“Of course we are facing a very tough opponent in Minerva and it will be tough for us, but hopefully we can make it a bit tough on Minerva too,” he said.

Nandi has indicated his pleasure with how the campaign has progressed thus far and will confident come kick-off that his side will go out and do the business to keep their hopes for a sixth Independence Day Cup title alive.

“A semifinal match is more tricky than the final itself because when you lose it, it becomes a matter of so close yet so far. It’s an important game but end of the day, it’s just another game and we need to play good football to win,” he added.

Mohammedan SC has a full complement to choose from. Several key players including Philip Adjah are expected to be restored into the starting line up, after resting them for their final group stage match.

Although Minerva has reinforced their squad adding the likes of William Opoku, Deepeak Devrani, Moinuddin Khan, Manandeep Singh, Arshpreet Singh, Eric Dano, Atinder Mani and Sukhwinder Singh alongside Irish technical director Paul Munster since losing their last Group B game, Black Panthers could have an edge over their opponents who will require mental fortitude to come back from their beating at the hands of Oil India.

The game will probably have a high tempo as both sides have a quick passing and ball controlling style of play as has been seen in their previous games. Each side will try to dominate in the midfield and control the game, but who will actually impose themselves more is till unknown.

These are arguably two best teams in the competition and much is at stake as the winner will be favoured to lift the trophy on Saturday.

Mohammedan look to stay perfect in Group stage

NAGAON, ASSAM: Mohammedan Sporting Club will face defending champions BSF Jalandhar in their last Group A fixture of the 70th Independence Day Cup on Wednesday (October 10, 2018) at the Nurul Amin Stadium, kick-off 2:30 pm.

Black Panthers’ semifinal berth has already been confirmed, but a point would ensure they finish on top of Group A. BSF, on the other hand, can go through to the last four with a draw and even a one-goal loss. Morning Star Club, however, would hope Mohammedan SC would win with a margin of two goals or more, which would take them through to the semifinal.

The task, however, looks little bit easier for BSF. That said, BSF might not be facing Mohammedan SC at the latter’s 100% level.

Although Mohammedan SC doesn’t have any injury concerns, coach Raghunath Nandi said he is likely to make changes against BSF, given his side have already assured themselves of participation in the knockout stage.

The veteran tactician is eager to give other members of his 22-man squad a taste of the tournament in Nagaon, Assam

“We are going to rest Seydou Maddy and Mohammad Amirul, unfortunately both them have picked up a yellow card in the last match. They are key members of the squad and we don’t want to take any risk before semifinal,” he said

Mohammedan SC, who are the most successful team in the history of the competition, have been labelled favourites by the fans and local media, but Nandi doesn’t feel the same.

“There are no favourites once the match starts and the better team will win eventually. You can say we have a good chance to win this game. But I don’t feel we can be labelled as favourites,” he added. 

Nandi believes this tournament is the ideal platform to test his players before the forthcoming 2018/19 2nd Division League.