Match Report: AFC v Lajong
Aizawl FC won the first leg of the North East Derby today in Aizawl by 2 – 1 against Shillong Lajong FC at the Rajiv Gandhi Stadium.
The away team, Shillong Lajong started the match brightly and were looking very dangerous in front of goal. They were on the attacking mode right from the start and kept on pressurising the Aizawl FC half.
In the 5th minute of the match, Lajong were given a penalty when the referee spotted Lalruatthara bringing down Redeem Tlang inside the box. Lajong’s Brazilian striker, Fabio Pena stepped up to take the penalty but as luck would have it, Aizawl’s goalkeeper, Albino Gomes saved the ball from entering the back of the net, denying Lajong the lead.
Shillong Lajong however, continued the game with great rhythm and momentum. There were many neat passes and they were moving in front, dominating Aizawl’s territory.
In the 10th minute, Zodingliana made a good run to shoot from just outside the box but his shot went straight to the keeper Albino.
In the 19th minute, the hosts Aizawl FC finally saw their first shot on target but Al Amna’s volley from outside the box went straight to Lajong custodian, Vishal Kaith.
As the game wore on, Lajong planted another attack on Aizawl but Yuta’s shot from the centre of the field, went wide. Singto’s side kept on going forward making several good moves until the 32nd minute when they conceded the first goal. Aizawl FC who hardly had any clear cut chances on goal were on point the moment they received a good chance and wasted no time to convert it into the back of the net.
Lalruatthara gave the home side some joy and reasons to celebrate by scoring the goal in the 32nd minute.
In the second half, Lajong came very close to level the score in the 48th minute when Isaac’s cross found Fabio who was inside the box but the latter’s header went just narrowly wide off the right post.
In the 63rd minute, Aizawl FC doubled the lead when their Syrian playmaker, Almna delivered a good cross to Jayesh Rane whose shot was deflected past Chinglensana’s leg and easily sailed inside the goal.
Aizawl FC played a much better second half and displayed good football all round. Lajong worked hard to get back in the game and were given a penalty in the 83rd minute when Japanese midfielder Yuta Kinowaki was brought down by Aizawl’s defender Kingsley. Yuta came forward to shoot from the spot and convert the penalty for Lajong to reduce the deficit.
As the game was heading to an end, Lajong were given the free kick after a foul was spotted by the referee outside the box but the subsequent free kick by Samuel Lalmuanpuia did not threaten the Goalkeeper.
That was the last major action in the match and Lajong lost their third consecutive away game. They will now return home to play against Minerva Punjab FC on 21st January 2017 and are truly banking upon home support to turn their fate around and give a much better display in the coming I-League matches. Aizawl FC on the other hand has climbed up and is on seven points from three games.