Srinagar, Apr 29: Despite a spirited performance, the Downtown Heroes FC's campaign ended in the 2nd Division I-League at the group stage as they were held to a 1-1 draw by visitors Delhi FC in the last match of the group stage at Synthetic Turf TRC ground here on Saturday.
Going into its last match of the group stage against Delhi FC in a must-win situation, Downtown Heroes FC failed to cross the final hurdle. The home side needed to win this match in order to make it to the final round while the visitors needed just a draw to seal a spot in the next round.
The match started with Downtown Heroes FC going into an all-out attack with the clear intention of earning full points from the match. Delhi's keeper made a couple of excellent saves in the early minutes to deny the home side a goal. In the 31st minute, in-form forward Parvaj Bhuiya gave the Downtown lead through the beautiful header. At half time, Downtown was leading by 1-0.
In the second half, Delhi FC looked more aggressive and sneaked with an equaliser in the 58th minute. It was a penalty experienced Balwant Singh converted that into a goal without any mistake. Though Downtown Heroes got a couple of excellent chances after that to get the lead they failed to convert those into goal. The match ended in a 1-1 draw.
With this draw, Delhi FC qualified for the final round of the 2nd Division I-League. Delhi FC ended the group campaign on top with 16 points while Downtown Heroes ended the campaign in second place in the group with 14 points.
Five teams from the group stage have qualified for the final round. Delhi FC, Ambernath United, Bengaluru United, Shillong FC and United Sports have qualified for the final round.