I-League: Aizawl FC downs Chennai City FC to return to winning form

Defending champion Aizawl FC returned to winning ways by comfortably outlasting visitor Chennai City FC 2-0 in an I-League encounter at its home here at the Rajiv Gandhi Stadium on Saturday.

Aizawl FC players celebrate their win against Chennai City FC in Aizawl on Saturday.   -  AIFF

Defending champion Aizawl FC returned to winning ways by comfortably outlasting visitor Chennai City FC 2-0 in an I-League encounter at its home here at the Rajiv Gandhi Stadium on Saturday.

Japanese striker Yugo Kobayashi opened the scoring for the host converting a penalty while David Lalrinmuana, the ‘Hero’ of the match, fetched the insurance goal to complete the victory scoreline in the first half of the match.

Coming into the match with an unbeaten record in the previous three matches, the Chennai side adopted a conscious counter attacking game but failed to sustain it effectively. Having lost the previous outing against Mohun Bagan, Aizawl stepped up the attack midway through the opening session making deep inroads in Chennai’s defensive layout. The visitor held on well initially but had to give in as the host stepped up the tempo with its creative threesome - Romanian Andrei Ionescu, David Lalrinmuana and Albert Zohmingmawia – doing a good job by stretching the opposition defence to make mistakes.

The visitor’s citadel finally fell in the 25th minute when an overworked Veniamin Shumeiko made the crucial error of handling the ball inside own box. The Kyrgyzstan full-back was trying to stop Lalrinmuana from getting a free run inside the box. Kobayashi had no problem in finding the net from the spot giving the host the lead in the 26th minute. Looking for more, the host kept up the offensive and got rewarded in the 33rd minute when Lalrinmuana got his name in the scoring list. The gutsy attacking midfielder latched on to a square pass from Ionescu and fired a left-footer as the ball took a slight deflection of the Chennai defender D. Ravanan and hit the upright before rolling home.

Chennai City’s attack department seemed to have a bad day in office as both its captain Soosairaj and Jean Joachim (Junior) could not make much of the few chances coming their way in the two halves of the match.

The result: Aizawl FC 2 (Yugo Kobayashi 26-pen, David Lalrinmuana 33) bt Chennai City FC 0.