The Mumbai based club become the first team this season to have won promotion back to the elite division, as a point against Aizawl FC proves to be enough for them....
ONGC have bounced straight back into the I-League Division I on their first attempt after being relegated from the elite tier in the 2010-11 season. They assured themselves of a top 2 finish in the final stage of the qualifiers which are currently underway at Gangtok with a 1-1 draw against Aizawl FC in their last league encounter.
The point, which was gained after Alhassan Abubakr had restored parity for ONGC, who had fallen behind to a strike by Sumaila Safianu in the 30th minute, meant that the Mumbai based club finish with 22 points from their 12 outings, and with the second and third placed teams, United Sikkim SC and Mohammedan Sporting set to face each other on Tuesday, ONGC are sure of promotion.
Knowing that they just needed a point, the league leaders started on a cautious note, as they looked to earn a ticket to the top tier. However their plans were upset by Safianu putting Aizawl ahead and it was only after going behind that ONGC settled down and started their regular passing game and interchanged well between themselves. Infact by the end of the game they could have easily gone home with all three points, but for the profligacy of their strikers upfront.
The second team which shall join the Mumbai based club in the top tier next season will be decided by the clash between Mohd. Sporting and United Sikkim S.C. Bhaichung Bhutia’s side, who are on 21 points and need just a point, have the upper hand against the Kolkatan side, who will have to go all out for a win, as they are a point behind United Sikkim in the standings.