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Pune FC, Salgaocar and Viva Kerala have qualified for the I-League 2009-2010 after winning their respective matches in the fifth round of the second phase of the I-League Division II on Saturday.

Pune FC defeated Sesa Football Academy 3-0 at the Ambedkar Stadium in Delhi. Sesa had already been knocked out of the reckoning for a top four finish in the second division and this defeat on Saturday implies that they have lost all their games in the second phase of the I-League Division II.

Stewart Hall’s side opened the scoring in the 22nd minute when striker Jeje Lalpekhlua latched onto a pass from Nzewi Godson Odinaka to put the ball in the back of the Sesa net.

Pune FC doubled their lead three minutes before half-time through J. Parsad and secured their berth in next season’s I-League campaign in the 87th minute when an exquisite combination among Shanmugam Venkatesh, Jeje Lelpekhlua and Godson saw Godson make it 3-0.

Salgaocar also qualified after edging past Shillong Lajong 1-0 at Faridabad, Franck Seator scoring in the first-half. Stanley Rosario’s side actually finished at the top of the standings with 10 points from four matches. Lajong had already qualified for the I-League 2009-2010.

Viva Kerala too qualified for the I-League 2009-2010. They were confronting Mumbai-based ONGC at Gurgaon and thrashed Sujit Chakraborty’s men 4-1, Baba Thunde scoring a hat-trick and Sabeeth hitting another. Tarif Ahmed scored a consolation goal for ONGC.

Speaking to Goal.com after the match, Viva Kerala coach Sreedharan AM said, “We’ve been conceding goals of late. But today we scored four goals and played well.”

The results on the final day of the I-League Division II campaign imply that Salgaocar, Pune FC, Shillong Lajong and Viva Kerala qualify for next season’s I-League.

Subhankar Mondal  

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