Henry Kisekka scored his sixth goal of the 2022-23 I-League season as Aizawl FC rode their luck to beat Mohammedan Sporting here at the Rajiv Gandhi Stadium here on Thursday.
After an indifferent first half between two teams that played a thriller in the first leg, the match gained momentum after the breather. The visitors, who had avoided defeat in Kolkata in the last minute, were unlucky not to go 1-0 up in the 56th minute.
Midfielder Kean Lewis had a brilliant match, but on that occasion, his powerful right-footer hit the post. Lady luck was clearly not on Mohammedan Sporting’s side today. The same misfortune befell Mohammedan Sporting’s Serbian midfielder Nikola Stojanovic in the 90th minute, when his scorching left-footer hit the crossbar and went out, denying Kibu Vicuna’s team the equaliser.
They may also count themselves unlucky that a long shot — which forced Aizawl goalkeeper Lalmuansanga inside his goal — fell perilously close to the goal line. On any other day, it may well have fallen in.
But Kisekka scored the all-important goal long before that, capitalising on a rare mistake by an otherwise solid Mohammedan Sporting defence. Their leader Ousmane Ndiaye had the measure of Kisekka for most of the match but in the 66th minute, his tackle inside the box was deemed illegal by referee Joyshing Monsang Thumli. Kisekka scored the penalty with clinical precision.
Hero of the Match R Lalthanmawia owned the left wing right through the match and found Argentine midfielder Matias Veron in the middle with a proper chance to make it 2-0, but the latter could not keep his left-footer down.
The last 15 minutes, like the first encounter between these two teams, belonged to Mohammedan Sporting. Vicuna’s attacking replacements – Marcus Joseph and Nikola combined well but just could not find the goal. It will certainly bear thinking for Vicuna who started with Abiola Dauda as the lone forward. The Nigerian offered very little.
This victory takes Caetano Pinho’s men up to fourth on the table with 20 points from 14 matches, while Mohammedan Sporting are ninth with 16 points from 14. (ANI)