Bhawanipore were then made to pay for their missed chances in the 67th minute as substitute Gani Nigam doubled Mohammedan’s lead. Safiul Rahaman swung in a free-kick from the right, which came off Monotosh Chakladar and reached Nigam at the far post, who chested the ball calmly and slotted home through Shilton’s legs to extend his side’s advantage.

Despite the setback, Bhawanipore continued to pour men forward and in the 79th minute, they looked poised to reduce the deficit — only to be denied by a brilliant save. Avinabo Bag played in a swerving cross for Jiten Murmu, who headed the ball on target but Priyant acrobatically dived to his right to turn the ball away for a corner.

Two minutes from full time, Mohammedan substitute Abhishek Rijal almost made it three for his side with a free header from close range but his effort was just wide. In the end, the Black Panthers saw out the game with ease, even though Bhawanipore threw the kitchen sink at it and made it three wins in three to complete their return to the Hero I-League.

After the match,  Mohammedan’s assistant coach Saheed Ramon stated, “It’s a great feeling for all of us to qualify for the Hero I-League. It means a lot to us. Qualifying this time is a very good thing for the club and our supporters.”

Talking about the game, he said, “We had studied Bhawanipore’s game and knew that they are strong on the counter-attack. We put out our strategy according to that and it worked well.”

Bhawanipore FC head coach Sankarlal Chakraborty said, “The defeat is disappointing, of course. We knew that Mohammedan are a strong team and they played well. We had our fair share of chances and if we could convert them, the result would have been different. Now, our focus on the next match against ARA FC on October 19.”

On the last matchday on Monday (October 19, 2020), Mohammedan Sporting will face FC Bengaluru United at the VYBK Stadium while Bhawanipore will take on ARA FC in Kalyani.