Bangalore: Rangdajied United FC of Shillong on Saturday became the second team to qualify for next season's I-League top tier after beating already qualified Mohammedan Sporting 3-1 in the final phase of the 2nd Division I-League in Bangalore.
This is the first time that the club from Shillong - who also emerged champions of 2nd Division I-League with 19 points from 10 outings - will take part in the I-League first division.
They won all their matches in the second round of the final phase of 2nd Division I-League.
The closest Rangdajied had come to qualifying for the I-League first division before this year was in 2011 when they had finished fourth in the final phase and narrowly missed out from the 2011-12 I-League season.
The Meghalaya side went ahead in the fifth minute of the match itself when Mohammedan Sporting's Charles Dzisah spooned a Shin Hojun floater into his own net.
Restom Khriam doubled the lead at the stroke of half time after being set up brilliantly by Babatunde Ayomide. Shin Hojun sealed the issue with a solo effort in the 85th minute. Jerry Zirzingha pulled one back for Mohammedan Sporting in the 83rd minute.
Another Shillong-based side, Shillong Lajong FC is playing in the ongoing I-League and they are expected to retain their place in the next edition (2013-14). Shillong will thus have two teams in the I-League 2013-14 season.
Rangdajied United FC General Secretary Karsing Kurbah said qualifying for I-League first division was the finest hour of his club.
"I can't express how happy I am. This has to be the finest hour of the club. We have worked so hard for this day. While we were preparing for the 2nd Division, I remember not allowing the players to go home for a single day. They obeyed, and today we are reaping the dividends. The day has finally arrived. We are going to celebrate a lot tonight," Karsing said on Saturday.