I-League: Want to lift trophy in front of home fans, says Mohammedan Sporting coach Andrey Chernyshov

Mohammedan Sporting defeated Shillong Lajong 2-1 here on Saturday to claim their maiden I-League title.

Shillong (Meghalaya), April 6 (IANS) Mohammedan Sporting defeated Shillong Lajong 2-1 here on Saturday to claim their maiden I-League title. But coach Andrey Chernyshov said they would love to lift the historic trophy in front of their home fans in Kolkata after their final match of the 2023-24 season.

Scenes of joy erupted at the SSA Stadium in Shillong, on Saturday after Mohammedan Sporting, who needed a point to secure the title, but went on to win it 2-1 in a hard-fought game. Shillong Lajong gave their everything to try and stop their opponents. In the end, however, two brilliant goals by Alexis Nahuel Gomez and Evgenii Kozlov got them over the line. The Black and White Brigade has been in the I-League before, but winning the competition for the first time is a special feeling for everyone associated with the Kolkata club.

An exhausted, yet cheerful Andrey Chernyshov, head coach of Mohammedan Sporting, said after the match, “This is a historic moment for the club. We have had to fight for this position all season long and now have finally achieved the status of champions.

“My players deserve all the credit. They are the ones who have fought hard every minute of the league. It was not an easy title to win by any stretch of the imagination. I’m thrilled to work with this bunch of boys, and the club have supported us in such a good way. Now we are reaping the rewards of all the hard work,” said Chernyshov. “This is the greatest day of my life. I have won other trophies as a player, but this is my best win as a coach,” he was quoted as saying by the-aiff.com.

Mohammedan Sporting have secured the I-League 2023-24 title with one match remaining, having amassed an unassailable tally of 52 points from 23 matches; Sreenidi Deccan, their closest rivals are on 44 points with two games to play.

With Mohammedan Sporting set to play their last match of the season at home against Delhi FC, a party atmosphere is expected in Kolkata. “Right now, all we want to do is to go back to Kolkata and play the last game and lift the trophy in front of our supporters. They deserve it,” said Chernyshov, shelving all plans for next season till after the celebrations.

Mohammedan Sporting goalkeeper Padam Chettri has played an integral role for his club, amassing eight clean sheets in the season. The Mohammedan number one expressed the team’s desire to get the job done.

“We are just so happy that we won the league and the game today. Lajong are very difficult to play against, but we showed how strong we are. Not only in this game but also in all the previous matches as well,” he said. “We did all that was required of us, and I want to thank the fans of Mohammedan Sporting, and my family for their support throughout the season,” he said.



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