I-League: Aizawl FC beats Gokulam Kerala 3-1

Aizawl FC came from behind to notch up a 3-1 win over Gokulam Kerala FC in a must-win I-League fixture.

Aizawl FC scored twice in the final moments to seal the match.   -  AIFF Media

Aizawl FC came from behind to notch up a 3-1 win over Gokulam Kerala FC in a must-win I-League fixture here on Thursday.

Gokulam Kerala, ranked 10th in the points table, drew first blood through Marcus Joseph in the 9th minute but eighth-placed Aizawl restored parity in the 83rd minute through Paul Ramfanzauva, who was also adjudged the Hero of the Match.

The highlanders struck back in quick succession twice through Mawpuia in the 88th minute and Kromah during the final moments of the added time (90’ + 6’) to seal the game in their favour.

Fighting for survival at the bottom of the table, the host took to the attacks right from the start. Gokulam pressed hard with Marcus and Suhair V.P. in combination, and looked threatening from the start.

Gokulam Kerala, which was raiding the Aizawl FC box in regular intervals but couldn’t find a way to convert the chances that came its way. However, Aizawl did try hard to create a few chances through Kromah and Dodoz but couldn’t really breach past the Gokulam defence line.

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The host's attacking game soon yielded results when a scintillating free-kick from Marcus in the 9th minute found its way straight into the goal giving the home team a much deserved lead early into the game.

Gokulam maintained its hard pressing game but this time Aizawl was more alert to not let the host get any clear chance to score. Aizawl attacked in its second attempt but some amazing goalkeeping from Shibin Raj ensured that the visitor did not find the equaliser.

Gokulam Kerala FC, which was primarily controlling the game in the first half could not still find a space to consolidate its lead. The first half came to an end with Gokulam leading 1-0 against Aizawl FC.

The second half began with Gokulam Kerala again leading the proceedings. The attempts to consolidate its lead couldn’t materialise because of an alert Aizawl Defence.

The efforts finally yielded results when a blunder by Shibin Raj was capitalized by Lalkhawpuimawia who deflected the ball to Paul Ramfanzauva who made no mistakes in finding the back of the net to bring the equalizer in the 83rd minute.

The highlanders suddenly changed gears after that and went on an attacking spree and took the lead in the 88th minute when a through ball from Kromah was collected by Mawpuia who made no mistakes thereafter scoring the second goal for Aizawl FC.

A rattled Goakulam tried to attack but an alert defence line from Aizawl ensured that the hosts do not find its way to the back of the net.

Aizawl FC struck back again in the final moments of the added time (96th) when Kromah’s shot ensured that the highlanders close the game with a 1-3 win over Gokulam Kerala.