Aizawl FC capitalised on Shillong Lajong FC errors to notch up a convincing 3-0 win in an I-League match at the Polo Grounds in Shillong on Sunday.
Aizawl FC continued its good form to brush aside Lajong’s challenge with ease. The loss also meant that Lajong’s unbeaten run came to an abrupt end despite the side enjoying more than 70% possession in the match.
With both Lajong and Aizawl fighting for the title, it was a crucial match for both sides and the defeat would come as a setback to the former’s title hopes. Lajong is currently in the fourth spot with 16 points from nine matches, winning four games and drawing four times.
Aizawl, on the other hand, would get a huge boost after bagging full points in the away match. It has climbed to the second spot behind Mohammedan Sporting with 17 points from nine matches, including five wins, two draws, and as many losses.
Aizawl was set on course for the win by Lalrinzuala Lalbiaknia, who scored the first goal in the fourth minute of the match. A long ball was played towards Aizawl midfielder R Lalthanmawia from the deep. However, Lajong defender Kynsailang Khongsit intervened and tried to clear the ball. His header was poor, and it landed at the feet of Lalbiaknia, who shot home his ninth goal of the tournament. The strike also made him the joint-top scorer of the league along with Gokulam Kerala’s Alejandro Sanchez Lopez.
Aizawl doubled its advantage in the 17th minute. A through ball released Lalthanmawia on the left and the winger delivered a weighted cross across the Lajong defence. R Ramdinthara made a timed run into the penalty box before connecting with the ball and finding the back of the net.
Aizawl was content with its lead and allowed Lajong to dominate the proceedings. But it ensured that its defence held firm and negated Lajong’s attacks easily.
Aizawl extended its lead in the 57th minute when a bungle from Lajong goalkeeper Bishal Lama gifted the third goal. Lalthanmawia was again in the thick of action as he curled in a corner from the right. Joe Zoherliana evaded his marker and headed down the ball, which bounced awkwardly in front of Lama. The goalkeeper failed to react swiftly, and the ball crossed the goal-line.
Lajong tried its best to stage a fightback, but Aizawl was able to preserve its lead and log a win.
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