TRAU FC beat Ozone FC Bengaluru 2-1 on Sunday to pick up their fifth consecutive win in the final round of the 2nd division league and earn promotion to the I-League. They have become the second Manipur-based club to get promoted in a span of three years, after NEROCA FC.
On their promotion to the I-League, Mr Sunando Dhar, CEO, I-League said, “Congratulations TRAU FC for the achievement. I'm sure the I-League will be more competitive and challenging next season with their inclusion. I wish them all the best for the next endeavour."
The champions began the day with a two-point lead over second-placed Chhinga Veng and clinched the title with a game to spare. The winners have 15 points from five games and will face Chhinga Veng in an inconsequential fixture on May 25.
After a goalless first half at the Khuman Lampak Stadium on Sunday, Princewill Emeka broke the deadlock in the 56th minute for TRAU. CS Sabeeth's equaliser in the 88th-minute brought Ozone back into the contest but not for long. Joseph Olaleye scored in added time to clinch the win.
TRAU advanced as runners-up behind Chhinga Veng in Group C in the preliminary round. They were three points behind toppers who had picked up 20 points from 10 games.
In the final round, TRAU were up against Chhinga Veng, Ozone and Lonestar Kashmir. They started off with a 3-1 win against Chhinga Veng and then thrashed Lonestar 4-1 in their second game with Olaleye picking up a brace.
Yami Longvah scored twice as TRAU continued their streak against Ozone. An 88th-minute strike by Naocha Singh against Lonestar in their fourth game helped them remain atop.