I-League: Kanoute brace propels Aizawl past TRAU, Arrows draws with Neroca

Aizawl FC earned a 2-0 home win against TRAU, while Indian Arrows defended stoutly to hold Neroca to a goalless draw in the I-League on Tuesday.

Abdoulaye Kanoute

Abdoulaye Kanoute celebrates with the fans after scoring in Aizawl's 2-0 win over TRAU in the I-League on Tuesday.   -  I-League

Super sub Abdoulaye Kanoute's brace steered Aizawl FC to its first home win of the I-League season as the side secured a 2-0 victory over TRAU FC at the Rajiv Gandhi Stadium here on Tuesday.

Aizawl coach Stanley Rozario made just one change from his match-winning XI against Quess East Bengal, recalling Joe Zoherliana to the line-up. TRAU, on the other hand, made four changes. Dinesh Singh replaced the suspended Sandeep Singh. Deepak Devrani was also recalled, with the Nigerian duo of Joseph Olaleye and Yinka Sunday Ayeni starting up-front.

RELATED| I-League could feature corporate teams, squads to be trimmed to 30 players

Aizawl dominated possession in the first half but lacked inspiration upfront. TRAU struggled to weave any threat while in possession and the side was lucky not to go behind in the 31st minute. Paul Ramfangzuava’s delightful lob found William Lalnunfela, who chested it down before cutting across Deepak Devrani and smashing a volley towards goal, only to be denied by a spectacular save from Mithun Samanta.

 

Samanta produced another good save five minutes later to keep out Matt Veron’s left-footed drive and keep the scores at level at the interval.

The second half began on a slow note but came to life in the final fifteen minutes. TRAU nearly went ahead through skipper Princewill Emeka, but his half-volley skimmed past the post.

In the 76th minute, Lalthlalova’s immaculate cross from the left found substitute Kanoute, who rose above Devrani and out-muscled him to score the opener.

Kanoute rounded off a fine win for Aizawl 11 minutes later when skipper Alfred Jaryan’s thunderbolt of a freekick rattled in off the underside of the crossbar and hit Samanta’s back. Kanoute was in the right place at the right time as he slotted the ball home to double his side's lead.

The result sees Aizawl take its tally to 14 points, while TRAU remains on the fourth spot with one point more than the Mizo side.

- Indian Arrows, Neroca play out goalless draw -

Indian Arrows defended with vigorously to hold host Neroca to a goalless draw in their I-League encounter at the Khuman Lampak Stadium on Tuesday.

Neroca, with the draw, climbs up to the eighth spot on the table with 12 points from as many games while Arrows is at the bottom with eight points from 11 matches.

  Dugout videos