As the new exciting Indian Football season knocks on our doors, every Indian football fanatic would be having their eyes glued on the Federation Cup, the official curtain raiser ahead of the I-league. Before the 33rd edition of the Federation Cup main event kicks off simultaneously in Kolkata and Pune from 17th September, the preliminary phase of qualifiers took place in the City of Joy, to finalize the two qualifying slots.A� Six teams which qualified for the final round of I- league Second division held earlier this year in Meghalaya and one relegated team from the previous I-league season, ONGC FC, participated in the qualifying phase. The seven teams were assembled in two groups a��

Group A: Mohammedan Sporting, Ar-Hima, Vasco SC.
Group B: United Sikkim Football Club, Royal Wahingdoh, ONGC FC, Southern Samity.

In the end, Kolkata based Mohammedan Sporting qualified from Group-A; while from Group-B, Royal Wahingdoh FC of Meghalaya made it in to the main event for the first time in their history.

TheHardTackle analyzes the performance of all the teams in the qualifying tournament and explores what lies ahead for the two qualified teams:


Mohammedan Sporting Club:

One of the oldest football clubs in India founded in 1891, Mohammedan Sporting Club, was a major force to reckon with during the 70’s and 80’s. Not being new to this tournament at all, the club has won the Federation Cup twice, back to back in 1983 and 1984 season and had to satisfy with the runners up trophy thrice in 1981, 1989 and 2003.

After going through some turbulent times and plying their trade in I-league Div-II recently, The Black Panthers did not disappoint their fans this time round as they qualified for the final round of the Federation Cup. The team strolled through their matches, beating Ar Hima by a solitary goal scored by Nigerian striker Stanley Okoroigwe. The second match saw the Black-&-Whites get the better of Goan rivals Vasco Sporting Club courtesy a late second half goal by Suman Dey. Mohammedan Sporting topped the group and they are now clubbed with last yeara��s winners East Bengal, Dempo SC and Pune FC in the main event – a group which could be easily quoted as the group of death.

Aloke Mukherjeea��s brave-hearts will challenge the might of the defending champions Kingfisher East Bengal in their opening match at Yuba Bharati Krirangan on 17th September.

Results Summary-

Mohammedan Sporting 1-0 Ar Hima

Vasco SC 0-1 Mohammedan Sporting

Back among the Big Boys !!


Ar Hima

The Meghalaya based football club lost some of their key players like captain Lyngdoh to arch rivals Shillong Lajong FC in the Indian transfer window coming into the tournament. The team had shown resilience in the I-league division two final round and finished fourth, qualifying for the Federation Cup qualifiers. The team bowed out of the tournament after playing out a goalless stalemate at Howrah Stadium against Vasco SC of Goa, with the strikers guilty of missing some sitters as Vasco custodian Agnelo Noronha came up with a man of the match performance. They had lost their opening match against Mohammedan Sporting by a single goal margin, showcasing an average performance. Founded in the year 1987, the club is a rising force in the North East and would undoubtedly leave their mark in top division domestic tournaments in coming years. Watch out for them.

Results Summary

Mohammedan Sporting 1-0 Ar Hima

Ar Hima 0-0 Vasco SC


Vasco SC

Goa based Vasco finished the I-League second division final round at third position with 13 points, thus qualifying for the Fed Cup preliminary stage. However they could only manage to earn a single point in the preliminary phaseA� – after losing out to Mohammedan Sporting and earning a hard fought stalemate against Ar Hima. Vasco lost their do-or-die game against Mohammedan Sporting by a solitary goal. Although the team did exceptionally well to reach the qualifying rounds, but failed to live up to the expectations in Kolkata.

The team is blessed with a bunch of quality players including the likes of Ravshan Teshabaev and Julius Akpele. Under the mentorship of Nigerian coach Valentine Euzuego, the team would be hoping to gel well to come back strong and qualify for the big league next year.

Results Summary

Ar Hima 0-0 Vasco SC

Vasco SC 0-1 Mohammedan Sporting


United Sikkim Football Club

Former Indian Captain Bhaichung Bhutia owned club has been making waves since its inception in the Indian football scene. From Bhaichung playing in defense to help the team qualify for the big league, to the team displaying sparkling performances against big teams like East Bengal in a recent friendly. A lot was expected from the young star studded brigade, coached by former Mohun Bagan coach Stanley Rosario, as they locked horns against Royal Wahingdoh, ONGC FC and Southern Samity in Group B.

USFC started their campaign in style, defeating ONGC by displaying a crisp goal scoring performance. Sushil Kumar, Daniel Bademi and veteran Babatunde were on the scoring sheet.A� In the second match, the North Easterners were facing a much familiar Royal Wahingdoh challenge, but the Sikkim based outfit failed to impress as they could not find the back of the net due to lack of finishing up front and lost the game by 0-1 margin. The third match was a mere formality asA� Royal Wahingdoh club had already secured a place in the final round due to the head-to-head rule, but United Sikkim grabbed the opportunity and defeated Southern Samity by a solitary goal, finishing at the second place in the group with 6 points.

Result Summary-

USFC 3-2 ONGC FC

Royal Wahingdoh 1-0 USFC

USFC 1-0 Southern Samity


ONGC FC

Last yeara��s relegated team automatically qualified for the qualifying phase as JCT FC hanged their boots. After losing many of their influential players in the Indian transfer window due to talks about the club getting disbanded, ONGC FC was up against United Sikkim FC in their first match in the Fed Cup qualifying round. The Mumbai based team displayed a gritty performance, but owing to lack of concentration at the back, USFC strikers slotted in three goals to win the hard-fought contest by 3-2 margin.

In the second match ONGC FC lost to Southern Samity as the institutional side could respond only once to Kolkata teamsa�� two goals. Kenistan scored the late goal for ONGC in that match. Already out of contention, the team faced the challenge of already qualified Royal Wahingdoh and lost the match 3-1 to finish the campaign on a disappointing note. Joel Sequera managed to slot in the only goal for ONGC, wrapping up an overall grim performance by the Mumbai team in the tournament where they finished at the bottom of the table in Group-B.

Result Summary

USFC 3-2 ONGC FC

ONGC FC 1-2 Southern Samity

Royal Wahingdoh 3-1 ONGC FC


Southern Samity

Under the mentor-ship of Carlos Alberto Pereira, and playing matches in their own backyard, a lot was expected from the dangerous giant killers from Kolkata. The team started their campaign in disappointment as they went down to Royal Wahingdoha��s in their opening fixture. In the second match, the Kolkata team tasted sweet victory as Jamir Ali Mondal and former East Bengal Player Edmilson scored for the team to notch up a comfortable 2-1 win against ONGC FC. In the third match, which was virtually a dead rubber for both the teams, United Sikkim defeated the home team by a single goal, positioning Southern Samity at third place in Group B table.

Result Summary

Southern Samity 0-1 Royal Wahingdoh

ONGC 1-2 Southern Samity

USFC 1-0 Southern Samity

Knocking on the Door-The Royal Way


Royal Wahingdoh

Former India player Carlton Chapman, now coaching the Meghalaya based club Royal Wahingdoh, saw his side sail through the qualifying phase straight into the final round of the Federation cup. The Meghalaya club is now a part of Group A, and would be locking horns against former champions Mohun Bagan, former I-league champions Churchill Brothers SC and local rivals Shillong Lajong FC.

Carlton Chapmana��s boys finished the Group B at top after securing full points from all three games. After its induction in 1946, the club has been building in stature in the North-East, especially after hooking up with Royal FC, which lead to increase in their fan base. The Meghalaya outfit kicked off their campaign against home favorites Southern Samity and got the better of them as Bhoy Singh scored just at the stroke of half time. The club overcame the United Sikkim FC challenge in the second match, with Omolaja Kareem scoring the only goal. The third match saw Chapmana��s men complete the formality, as they defeated ONGC FC by three goals to one. Jackie Chand Singh scored a brace for the north easterners and Beekay scored the other one.

Result Summary

Southern Samity 0-1 Royal Wahingdoh

Royal Wahingdoh 1-0 USFC

Royal Wahingdoh 3-1 ONGC FC

So after almost a week of tussling among the seven selected teams, Mohammedan Sporting Club and Royal Wahingdoh make the cut and get a chance to compete among the best in Indian Football when the main event would commence from the 17th September.

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One Response to “2011 Federation Cup Qualifying Round Review : Mohammedan, Royal Qualify For The Main Event”

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  1. Luv Shukla says:

    Nice review. Keep up the good work.