Match Report : Aizawl FC 2-1 Shillong Lajong
Aizawl FC earn bragging rights in the 'North-Eastern Derby' as they beat rivals Shillong Lajong 2-1 in the round 3 encounter of the I-League at the Rajiv Gandhi Stadium in Aizawl on Tuesday.
Lalruatthara initiated the scoring for the hosts in the 32nd minute before Jayesh Rane piled more misery on Lajong in the 63rd minute. Yuta Kinowaki pulled one back for the visitors in the 85th minute but it was too little too late.
Lajong coach, Thangboi Singto made two changes in the squad that played in the last match against Mohun Bagan. Sandeep Singh replaced Romanian defender Dan Gelu Ignat who missed today's game and promising winger Radeem Tlang replaced Rupert Nongrum.
Aizawl made just one late change as H. Lalbiakthanga replaced Kamo after the latter failed a fitness test just before the match.
Hungry to open their points tally, Lajong rattled the home side with a flurry of early attacks. Failing to cope up with it, Aizawl gave away a penalty in the 4th minute of the match but their custodian Albino Gomes made a diving save to deny Fabio Pena and keep the score goalless.
Lajong looked the better side in the first quarter of the match as they kept the pressure on the Aizawl defence.
The game-changing moment came in the 30th minute when Lajong's midfield orchestrator Zodingliana Ralte had to be substituted owing to an injury he picked up during the game.
Minutes later Aizawl left back Lalruatthara made an overlapping run before crossing the ball to Alfred Jaryan, whose back-heel effort was blocked by Sana Singh only for the ball to fall in Lalruatthara's path, who blasted it home to give Aizawl the lead.
Teams went into half-time with the scoreline reading 1-0.
The second half was a story of Aizawl dominance as Syrian International, Mahmoud Al Amna and Jayesh Rane wreaked havoc on Lajong's defence.
The two combined together in the 63rd minute when Al Amna's cross found an unmarked Jayesh Rane in the Lajong box who made no mistake in doubling the lead with a deflected left-footed shot.
Lajong however, reduced the deficit in the 85th minute when Japanese midfielder and former Aizawl FC player, Yuta Kinowaki scored a penalty after he was brought down inside the box by Aizawl's foreign defender Kingsley.
Aizawl managed to hang on to their lead in the dying embers of the game, making it two successive home wins for them.
The win takes Aizawl to 7 points in three games, while Lajong's disastrous start only gets worse as they are yet to open their points tally after three matches.
Man of the Match: Mahmoud Al Amna.
FeverPitch’s Match of the Match: Mahmoud Al Amna.