SRINAGAR- Downtown Heroes FC qualified for the Group Stage of the 2nd Division I-League on Tuesday after defeating Corbett FC 2-1 in the Qualifiers Stage at SAI STC Ground in Assam.
In their first qualifiers fixture, the Heroes defeated Assamese team United Chirang Duar FC 5-1.
Downtown Heroes, led by experienced head coach Hilal Rasool Parray, knew a win on Tuesday would confirm their place in the Group Stages of the competition. Parray deployed an attacking 4-3-3 formation against Uttarakhand-based Corbett FC.
However, the Heroes started poorly in the match and went behind early on. Sakti Nath Oraon scored in the 16th minute to give Corbett FC a lead they maintained till the end of the first half.
The Srinagar-based club’s comeback started in the 50th minute when the Heroes’ Manipur recruit Pukhrambam Manisana Singh brought the side on equal terms. Ateeb Ahmed Dar then put the Heroes ahead in the 85th minute of match.
The win means that Downtown Heroes qualified for the Group Stage with 1 game to spare.
“We would like to express our deepest gratitude to all our well wishers and supporters who have stood by us throughout our journey to qualify for the I League 2nd Division. Your unwavering support and encouragement have been instrumental in our success,” the Heroes said in a statement.
Downtown Heroes will next play Shillong Lajong FC, who also won their first two games and have qualified for the 2nd Division Group Stages. The match is scheduled to be held on February 16.
Downtown Heroes FC Playing XI:
1 Furqan, 4 Zahid, 6 Hyder, 13 Rajender, 18 Shahid, 17 Shahmeer, 19 Mehran, 20 Jirjar, 9 Parvaj, 11 Hayat, 14 Ateeb.
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