Kolkata-based club Mohammedan Sporting defeated local rivals Bhawanipore United 2-0 to clinch promotion to the 2020-21 season of I-League on Friday at the Kalyani Stadium.
Vanalbiaa Chhangte and Gani Ahmed Nigam scored a goal each in each half as the Black Panthers sealed a comfortable win against their opponents and confirmed their spot at the top of the table in the I-League qualifiers 2020.
The biggest fixture of the qualifiers, a derby between two Kolkata-based clubs, started on a positive note with Mohammedan taking the initiative to find an opening against a resilient Bhawanipore defence.
The defence was finally unlocked by a move in the 27th minute. The Trinidad and Tobago striker found Sk Faiaz who then placed the ball perfectly for Chhangte who found the net.
With the game nearing the half-time whistle, Ghanian striker Philip Adjah attempted an audacious chip to beat goalkeeper Priyant Singh who was off his line but the effort sailed over the bar.
Mohammedan custodian was forced into a few saves in the second half but Sankarlal Chakraborty's team failed to get back into the game. At the other end, former Gokulam Kerala winger Gani Nigan smashed home a volley to double his team's lead and push Bhawanipore further away from the contest.
Priyant's most meaningful contribution came when he pulled off a spectacular save to deny a Jiten Murmu header from close-range in the 78th minutes. The Mohammedan defence stood firm in the last ten minutes to prevent late drama and secure qualification.
In the first game of the day, ARA and Garhwal played out a 1-1 draw. Young Neeraj Bhandai broke the deadlock in the 17th minute and Surajit Seal equalised in the 83rd minute to share the spoils.