The All India Football Federation congratulated TRAU FC for winning the Second Division League 2018-19, and earning a ticket for the I-League 2019-20.
They now become the second team from Manipur in the I-League after NEROCA FC. TRAU had already secured their qualification after they beat Ozone FC in their penultimate match on May 19.
TRAU FC finished their engagements on 15 points from six, two points clear from Chhinga Veng FC who finished second playing same number of matches.
AIFF president Praful Patel said, “Congratulations TRAU FC for winning the Hero Second Division League. Their success reflects the efforts, and passion for football in Manipur as they now become the second club from the state after Neroca FC in Hero I-League. The Hero I-League will be a new challenge for them, but I’m sure they will approach it head on.”
AIFF general secretary Kushal Das is his message mentioned the club’s prowess in the final round which exhibited their “authority over other competitors.”
“I need to congratulate TRAU FC for qualifying for the Hero I-League. Their presence in the Hero I-League will provide the perfect platform for more players from the state to compete at the highest level. The passion for football in Manipur is unparalleled, and now we have two teams from the state who will fight for the top honours,” he said. “I wish them good luck.”
In the preliminary round, TRAU FC had finished behind Chhinga Venga FC and had qualified to the final round as the best second-placed team over the three groups.
Although the Manipuri outfit’s campaign got heavily dented by the 0-6 loss to Mohammedan SC, they managed to recuperate quickly to finish with 17 points from 10 matches – three shy of the group leaders Chhinga Veng FC.
In the final round, they kicked off with a sublime 3-1 victory over Chhinga Veng FC in Aizawl before edging past Ozone FC in Bengaluru in their second match.
Mumbai FC had won the inaugural edition of Second Division League in 2007-08 followed by Salgaocar FC in the following year.
In recent times, Aizawl FC won it in 2014-15 edition before conquering the I-League in 2016-17. NEROCA FC, the first-ever team to play in I-League from Manipur won the second tier tournament in 2016-17, while Real Kashmir FC caught everyone’s imagination having won the same last season before finishing third in the 2018/19 I-League.