THE I-LEAGUE 2020-21 SEASON began with Mohammedan Sporting taking on Sudeva Delhi FC, and claiming full 3 points.
Mohammedan were playing in the I-League after 6 long years, having been relegated in the 2013-14 season. Their triumphant return provided a sobering welcome Sudeva Delhi, who played their first ever match in the competition.
Although the debutants' all-Indian squad started the game reasonably well and defended the early set pieces that went Mohammedan's way, midway into the second half the tide began to turn. Sudeva had a chance to get ahead when Kean Lewis sent in a gem of a cross from the left wing and Ajay Chhetri got a header on it, but the ball went just wide. Early in the second half, Lewis once again set up a chance from the corner, and this time Gursimrat's header also missed the crossbar.
Just as the hour mark was approaching, Mohammedan Sporting's Faisal Ali took advantage of a defensive mistake to score a memorable goal, giving the Kolkata-based club the lead. The Black Panthers held onto their advantage and finished the game with a hard-earned 1-0 victory.
With these 3 points, the I-League Qualifiers winners have announced their intentions of challenging for the title. They play Churchill Brothers next on 14th January in a game that will be their first big test of the season.
Sudeva Delhi FC meanwhile have a chance to regroup and go for their first points in I-League when they face Indian Arrows Thursday.