Shillong, Mar 22: Meghalaya’s Stephanson Pale (pictured centre) has certainly made a mark in the Second Division League (the I-League qualifiers) for his side Mohammedan Sporting, even though the Kolkatan club failed to secure progression to the final round of the tournament.

Pale scored four goals for Mohammedan in nine appearances. The 19-year-old was one of three Meghalaya players signed by Mohammedan before the start of their campaign, the other two being Eijingmut Lyngdoh and Joy Mrong Kharraswai.

From not being used in the first game and only playing for a handful of minutes as a substitute in the second, Pale has gone on to make the starting line-up in every match after that, with over 670 minutes on the pitch.

He scored his first goal of the season against ATK reserves on 4th March in Mohammedan’s 4-0 victory, but his best achievement came a few days later when he pulled out a hat-trick against TRAU FC in a home match on 13th March. Pale scored in the 43rd, 71st and 90+1 minutes in Mohammedan’s resounding 6-0 win.

Pale also scored three goals in the 2017-18 season of the Second Division for Shillong’s Langsning FC.┬áHe was also top scorer for Langsning in the 2017 U-18 Shillong Premier League with seven goals.

By contrast Lyngdoh and Kharraswai were not used much by Mohammedan technical director Raghu Nandy, only making two and three appearances respectively.

Unfortunately for Mohammedan, they didn’t have the best of seasons. They didn’t win any of their first three games, but then won four of their next five. That gave them a chance to finish in the top two of Group C (and consequently a place in the final round), but they then lost to New Barrackpore 2-0.

Today marked the final round of matches in Group C. Mohammedan beat Jamshedpur FC reserves 4-2 away, but they needed TRAU FC to lose or draw against top side Chhinga Veng FC in Aizawl. However, TRAU were 3-2 winners, which saw the Manipur-based team join Chhinga Veng in the final round.

Chhinga Veng ended with 20 points, TRAU 17 and Mohammedan 16. Just one more point would’ve been enough for Mohammedan, as they had head-to-head advantage over TRAU.

(Photo: Facebook/Mohammedan Sporting)

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