Kolkata: Mohammedan sporting secured an I-League berth after seven years with a 2–0 win over city rival Bhawanipur FC in a qualifier here on Friday.
Vanlalbia Changte (28th minute) and Gani Ahmed Nigam (67th minute) hit either side of the half-time to win the match. With three wins over Trot, Mohammedan has a nine-point unassailable lead over their nearest rivals to seal the lone I-League spot with one round.
The 131-year-old club will thus become the only Kolkata team in the I-League to be played in West Bengal in the absence of Mohun Bagan and East Bengal, joining the top-tier Indian Super League.
The I-League is likely to start in December.
Mohammedan sporting last played the I-League in 2013-14, but was recalled only in the same season. These qualifiers have seen a lot of controversy around the eventual winner, with the dismissal of head coach Yan Law after the first two matches (both of which were won). Two police complaints were added to the play, but the team looked off this period to achieve its objective.
In a final final round match on 19 October, Mohammedan sporting FC will face Bengaluru United, followed by a match between ARA FC and Bhawanipur FC.