Aizawl FC on Wednesday garnered full three points in their first home match of the ongoing Hero I-League 2017-18 season against Churchill Brothers.
The defending champions got the better of the visiting side 1-0, thanks to the late strike by the forward Yugo Kobayashi.
Although the Aizawl FC fans had to wait till the 88th minute for the goal, the game provided enough of nervy and heart pumping moments to them.
William Lalnunfela, who scored a brace for Aizawl against Kingfisher East Bengal was the notable absentee against Churchill Brothers. Shylo Malsawmtluanga, the most experienced player in the squad again had to sit out today meaning he will have to wait longer to make his debut for Aizawl FC in I-League.
Churchill coach Shevchenko made three changes to his playing XI that faced Mohun Bagan in their previous match. Suraj and Israil Gurung took the field as Karthik Govindswamy and Emuejeraye Precious failed to retain their place in the starting line-ups.
The home side did not waste time in carving out their first chance of the match. Centre back Saighani perfectly weighted a through ball which was chased down by Mka to deliver a perfect cross for Ivorian forward Dodoz, but the forward who have played for Aizawl’s rival Chanmari FC earlier could not convert his golden chance.
His header was parried away by Churchill goalkeeper Kithan. Japanese forward Kobayashi’s shot from inside the box was blocked by centre-back Osagie Monday a few seconds later.
Though Aizawl dominates possession for the better part of the first half, they could not create any clear-cut chance, injury to David dented the home team as they lacked creativity and ideas in the attacking third of the pitch. The first half ended in a scoreless draw.
After the hour-mark, the home side upped the tempo of the game and created several good chances but Yugo Kobayashi could not convert the chances that fell on his path.
Just when Churchill thought they deserved a point from the game Kobayashi scored the only goal of the game in the 88th minute. Having calmly tucked in Dodoz’s pass calmly, the shrewd forward slotted the solitary goal of the match.
Towards the end of the game, six additional minutes fell short for Churchill Brothers who are still left empty-handed after three straight losses in the ongoing season.
Aizawl with 4 points from 2 games now move up to the fifth spot on the table but Churchill Brothers FC Goa’s nightmare continues as the Red Machines continue to totter at bottom of the table.
The Goan team have to quickly shrug off the loss as they travel to Kolkata to play the high-flying Kingfisher East Bengal on December 16, 2017. Aizawl will play their next home game against Shillong Lajong two days later. (AIFF)