I-League Second Division: HAL Go Through To I-League While Vasco Finish Third

Bangalore giants grab second promotion spot....

HAL Bangalore vs. Sesa Football Academy



S. Fernandes (29’)

Satish Kumar Jr (44’)



HAL became the second team to book their place in the next edition of the I-League after playing out a 1-1 draw against strugglers Sesa Football Academy at the KSFA Stadium in Bangalore. Satish Kumar Jr. proved to be the difference yet again as the 19 year old striker scored the goal that mattered on the stroke of half time.

HAL were expected to destroy bottom of the table Sesa, but they started the match on a rather lax note. They allowed Sesa to dominate possession and were made to pay. Israil Gurung has had a stellar season with Sesa and he showed his quality in the 29th minute by setting up the first goal via a cross from the right. Selwyn Fernandes made most of the pin point delivery and left HAL shocked.

However, Satish Kumar Junior took it upon himself to restore parity in the match and scored on the stroke of halftime with a splendid solo effort. He received the ball on the right and took it past two defenders before placing a left footed shot into the far post. The teams went into the break with the scores level at 1-1.

The game opened up in the second half and had more end to end action. Both teams had chances to score but these were wasted. Satish had two opportunities in quick succession in the 63rd and 65th minutes. While the first one saw his shot go flying over the bar, the second one led to a goal line clearance by Sesa defender Jaiganesh Goltekar.

On the other hand, Sesa too got two opportunities as well. HAL keeper Amar Deb produced a brilliant save from a close range Selwyn Fernandes shot in the 65th minute, and defender Jai Kumar made a good sliding challenge to prevent Israil Gurung from scoring two minutes later.

HAL captain Xavier Vijay Kumar found himself through on goal in the 71st minute, but this time it was Sesa keeper Jason D’Mello who kept the scores at 1-1.

There were no more goals to come in the match and HAL qualified for the I-League as they only needed a point to go through. They had an impressive Final Round campaign, obtaining 16 points out of a possible 21. Sesa, on the other hand, have been a disaster in the Final Round for the second year running, gathering only three points from seven matches. They will have to seriously rethink their strategy for next year.

Vasco SC vs. Mohammedan Sporting

J. Sequeira (35’)





J. Kumar (67’)

Vasco SC finished the Final Round in third spot after a disappointing 1-1 draw against Mohammedan Sporting in the second match at the KSFA stadium in Bangalore.

HAL had already ensured themselves promotion in the previous match and hence the match was played only for pride. Vasco took the lead in the 35th minute via a Joel Sequeira strike and went into the break with a 1-0 lead.

However, Mohammedan were not to be dismissed, and they made amends for their poor play early on by scoring in the 67th minute. This time it was skipper Jyothi Kumar who got on the score sheet. There was to be no further goal in the match and the match ended with each team having a goal apiece.

A lot was expected from both teams and they were considered favourites to gain a spot in the next I-League. However, very ordinary performances meant that Vasco had to settle for third place with 13 points while Mohammedan got fourth, with only 10 points.

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