Mohammedan SC lift maiden I-League trophy and qualify for Indian Super League

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Ever since a pan-Indian football league kicked off in India, 133-year-old Mohammedan SC have been pining for their first National League. The wait finally came to an end on the evening of April 6th, Saturday. With 15 wins in 23 games, 7 draws and just a solitary loss, the Black Panthers have wrapped up the I-league with a game in hand.

The first-placed finish means that the Kolkata-based side will now be eligible for the Indian Super League, the first-division club football league in the country. It is a dream come true for the fans of Mohammedan as the ‘Big Three’ from the City of Joy – Mohun Bagan, East Bengal and Mohammedan will all now appear in the ISL. This will lead to exciting derbies in Kolkata, as crowds will flock to the Yuva Bharati Krirangan.

The resurgence of the Black Panthers began with the return of Russian head coach Andrei Chernyshov, who had been sacked earlier by the same team. Chernyshov had won the Calcutta Football League and reached the Durand Cup Final in his previous stint with the side.

Mohammedan SC had the opportunity to lift the league in the penultimate game of the tournament against Shillong Lajong FC, and they did exactly that. Alexis Gomez scored in the very first minute to give the Panthers the lead which was cancelled by Douglas Tardin from the spot for Lajong. However, it was Evgeny Kozlov in the 62nd minute who scored the winner and confirmed the title for the black and white outfit.


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