Gurgaon:Shillong team Lajong FC on Tuesday virtually qualified for the first division I-League after they blanked Pune FC 2-0 in a fourth round match of the second division I-League here.
Sairhohao Tuboi opened scoring for the Shillong club in the 26th minute before he set up Roming Thanga for the second goal in the 37th minute at Tau Devi Lal Stadium.
After Tuesday's win, Lajong are on top of table with nine points and plus four goal difference and they are virtually assured of a top four finish to become the first team from the Northeast to qualify for the I-League top tier.
Top four teams from the six-team second division I-League will make it to top tier I-League.
Salgaocar and ONGC are on joint second spot with seven points from four matches and identical goal difference of plus two.
Viva Kerala and Pune FC have six points each with plus one and minus two goal difference. Sesa Goa are already out of contention.
The first half was completely dominated by Lajong FC. The Pune side tried to come back into the match after the breather but solid defending by the Shillong players ensured their lead intact.
After collecting a pass from the centre, Tuboi cut through the right flank, got past a defender before dumping the ball at the back of Pune net.
Tuboi then supplied Thanga whose powerful right footer from left top side of the box went past Pune goalkeeper Balaji into the net.
Lajong FC owner Larsing Ming Shwyan was happy that his side will become the first team from the Northeast to qualify for the I-League first division.
"We have created history for Northeast region by becoming the first team to qualify for I-League. It will pay dividends for Indian football. There is huge talent in the Northeast and my team played well," he said.
Coach Schangpliang said, "I am happy the boys performed well. We made the players switch positions, strikers playing as defenders in the second session. Despite too many injuries to our players still we could win the game."
Meanwhile, the three final round matches will be played simultaneously on three venues on April 18. ONGC will play against Viva Kerala in Gurgaon, Pune FC will take on Sesa Goa at Ambedkar Stadium in New Delhi while Lajong face Salgaocar in Faridabad.
All the three matches will start at 1600hrs.