Aizawl FC 2-0 Mumbai FC : Aizawl Overwhelm Mumbai FC
Amidst the festive season of Chapchar Kut in Mizoram, Aizawl FC managed to overwhelm Mumbai FC 2-0 in a crucial twelfth round encounter of the ensuing Hero I-League 2016-17, riding on a brace from Kamo Stephane Bayi (65', 78').
Kamo Stephane Bayi, who was subjected to a lot of criticism before, showcased his class with two clinical finishes in the second half. The victory also meant that Aizawl gaffer, Khalid Jamil did a double over his former side in this ongoing edition of the I-League, and regaining their top spot in the league table.
Aizawl started the match with a 4-4-2 formation with Kamo and Rane upfront.
Santosh Kashyap, on the other hand, started with as many as 6 defenders on the pitch, hoping to salvage a point by parking the bus. They were successful in doing so in the first half but crumbled under the vigorous pressure from Aizawl in the second half.
Aizawl dominated possession in the first half but lacked the composure to initiate the scoring. Aizawl's midfield orchestrator, Mahmoud Al Amna could have drawn first blood in the 30th minute, when Danmawia found him in space on the edge of the box. With Mumbai FC custodian Kattimani out of position, all Amna needed to do was keep the ball on target. Amna tried to score with his first touch, eventually shooting wide in the process.
Mumbai FC also had their share of half-chances but failed to threaten Albino Gomes.
Teams went into the break with no goals on the scoresheet.
Upon resumption, Aizawl looked desperate to score. The home side almost took the lead in the 55th minute when Nigerian defender, Kingsley decided to have a go at goal from long range but his shot ricocheted off the cross bar.
Mumbai got another glaring chance to stun the home crowd in the 59th minute when Brazilian forward Anderson managed to get into Aizawl's box dribbling past the Aizawl defenders but rather than taking a shot on goal, he decided to go down and appeal for a spot kick.
Referee Ajit Meitei was having none of it and showed Anderson a yellow card for simulation.
With the home crowd getting restless, it was Stephen Bayi Kamo who gave Aizawl their much-anticipated goal in the 65th minute. Brandon's diagonal cross from the left found Kamo inside the box, who volleyed it across the face of the goal as the home fans erupted with joy.
With a spring in their stride thanks to the opening goal, Aizawl FC looked for more goals. The opening goal had disturbed the defensive organisation of Mumbai FC and they allowed the Aizawl attackers space to work with.
Aizawl eventually increased their lead in the 78th minute when Kamo flicked home a Al Amna through ball, thus crushing Mumbai FC's hopes of a salvaging a point.
The crowd being Aizawl's 12th man, as usual, ensured that the spirit in the home camp remained high with their persistent cheering, singing and Mexican waves.
The match eventually finished 2-0 in favour of Aizawl as their dazzling home run continued.
With the win, Aizawl are currently on 26 points, ascending to the top of the I-League standings.
East Bengal who are just a point behind, will get their opportunity to restore their pole position when they lock horns with Shillong Lajong later today.
Man Of The Match- Kamo.
FeverPitch's Man Of The Match- Kamo.