Meghalaya club Ar-Hima qualifies for 2nd division I-league
Jamshedpur: Ar-Hima Football Club of Meghalaya qualified for the main draw of the second division I-League by virtue of better goal difference after Kerala`s Josco Football Club defeated state rivals Malabar United 2-1 in the last encounter of the AIFF 2nd division I-league qualifying round at Keenan Stadium on Monday.
In the last encounter of the qualifying round, Josco surged ahead in the 19th minute after striker D Devadas converted a measured crosspiece from right flank.
Josco`s defender Jeribe Kelehi increased the tally five minutes later even as Malabar United, which earned seven points from one win, one loss and four draws, strived for a reducer before the lemon break.
Malabar put their act together soon after the play resumed post-breather and brought the reducer through Nigerian striker Nwokwu Michael, 11 minutes into the second half.
Michael made a solo move dribbling past the rival defenders before slotting home.
Ar-Hima FC, Maharashtra`s Kenkre FC and Josco FC with three wins, two losses and a draw had identitical 10 points each but the Meghalaya outfit sailed into the next round by virtue of better goal difference.
While Ar-Hima had scored 15 goals and conceded 11, Kenkre FC had scored 15 goals and conceded 12. Josco FC had pumped in 12 goals but conceded 11 during their league encounters.
Mohammedan Sporting topped the points table with 14 points, already made to the main draw of the qualifying round.
Altogether eight teams will take part in the main draw of the qualifying round to be held in Shillong later including two top teams each from three venues, Jamshedpur, Madurai and Guwahati as well as two relegated teams of last year`s