I-League 2020 Qualifiers: Bhawanipore, Mohammedan Sporting begin with a win

Bhawanipore and Mohammedan start their journey this season with 2-0 and 1-0 wins respectively…

A new season of Indian football kicked-off with the I-League 2020 qualifiers on Thursday in West Bengal.

Local clubs Bhawanipore and Mohammedan Sporting were in action on the first day as against Bengaluru United and Garhwal respectively.

Both clubs were off to a flying start. In the first match of the day at the Salt Lake stadium, Sankarlal Chakraborty’s Bhawanipore eased past Bengaluru FC 2-0 to start their campaign on a high.

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At the stroke of half time, Pankaj Moula (45+4’) handed Bhawanipore the lead. Philippe Adjah entered the Bengaluru box following a through ball from Altamash Sayed and attempted a shot at goal but Bengaluru custodian Srijith R. parried the ball away. Moula picked up the rebound ball and converted a simple tap-in.

The home team scored the second goal in the 60th minute to seal the fate of the match thanks to brilliant strike from Adjah. The Ghanian forward, in a quick counter-attack, converted a stunning finish from the edge of the box.

Bhowanipore FC

In the second game in Kalyani, Mohammedan Sporting edged out Garhwal 1-0 courtesy a wonder goal by Timothy Munmun Lugun in the added time.

The Black Panthers, who are arguably the strongest team in the qualifiers this season, were wasteful through the game and were very close to drop points in their season opener.

Star striker Willis Plaza failed to convert a penalty in the 65th minute after Gani Nigam was brought down inside Garhwal box. Plaza’s shot had hit the upright and went out.

Within a couple of minutes Plaza once again failed to convert an easy chance as his header from a point blank range had it the crossbar and came back.

In the 72nd minute, Sk. Faiaz failed to bury the easiest chance of the match he couldn’t convert a header into an empty net from a handshaking distance.

Just when it seemed that the much hyped Mohammedan Sporting would lose points against the Delhi club, Munmun Lugun stepped up and converted  a screamer from nearly 25 yards.

Mohammedan’s next match is against ARA FC on October 11 which Garhwal face Bengaluru United on the same day. Sankarlal Chakraborty’s men face Garhwal in their second game on October 14.

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