Gangtok, March 22 (IANS) While the premier football clubs are on course to clinch the coveted I-League trophy, others are gearing up to book a berth in next season’s I-League.
Come this Saturday, Second Division League final round kicks-off with Gangtok Himalayans SC hosting Dempo SC at the Paljor Stadium here. Dempo SC will travel to Sikkim to take on Gangtok Himalayans in the final round opener on March 26.
Mohammedan Sporting Club will host Lonestar Kashmir FC on the following day at the Mohun Bagan ground. The last match of the first week will see another encounter between the Eastern and the Western zones when Neroca FC clash with Minerva Academy FC at the Khuman Lampak Stadium on March 29.
Undoubtedly the nomenclature in the final round, where three debutants will engage in the final combat with three veterans, would be captivating. Teams would come up with shrewd strategies and astute game plans to win the Second Division League.
Mohammedan SC (West Bengal), Gangtok Himalayans SC (Sikkim) and Neroca FC (Manipur) have qualified from the eastern conference whereas Minerva Academy FC (Chandigarh), Dempo SC (Goa) and Lonestar Kashmir FC (Jammu & Kashmir) have cemented their berths in the final round from the western conference.
I-League CEO Sunando Dhar wished luck to the six clubs.
“We have seen an intriguing battle in the first round and all three debutants (Gangtok Himalayans, Neroca, Minerva Academy) proved their mettle,” said Dhar.
“I’m sure that the final round will also come up with an enthralling brand of football where these debutants will rub their shoulders with veteran powerhouses in the likes of Mohammedan SC, Dempo SC, and LoneStar Kashmir FC. I, on behalf of AIFF, would like to wish them all the very best before the final round kicks off on March 26.”
Two teams will be promoted to I-League for the 2016-17 season.