I-League 2019: Aizawl holds Mohun Bagan to goalless draw in season opener

William Lalnunfela and Suhair VP made valiant efforts to get their teams off the mark, however the game ended with the sides sharing the spoils.

An overly cautious approach at the start from Aizawl FC and a loss of momentum from Mohun Bagan in the second half meant a goalless draw at the end.   -  I-League

Aizawl FC held Kolkata giant Mohun Bagan to a goalless draw at home in the opener of the 13th I-League season on Saturday. Playing on the artificial turf of the Rajiv Gandhi stadium, the clash between the two former champions was a thriller despite having no goals to show for it in the end.

READ : I-League opener: Aizawl FC 0-0 Mohun Bagan, as it happened

Going into the game with cautious strategies, both teams were packed with midfielders. While Mohan Bagan, despite having just one striker upfront in Suhair Vadakkepeedika dominated play managing six attempts at scoring in the first half, Aizawl pegged back in the second half. That the home side had two shots on target but Bagan managed just one reflects the change in momentum towards the end of the first half and the rest of the game.

A six-man midfield could not feed William Lalnunfela as much as coach Standly Rozario Henry would have liked. It was another story across the field in Bagan's front line. Suhair’s through forward to Julen Colinas brought up the first chance of the game in the 3rd minute as the Spaniard’s left-footed strike beat Lalremruata in the Aizawl goal, but went just wide.

A better through ball came Suhair's way from Nongdamba Naorem in the 8th minute but hit straight at Remruata who did well to come off his line quickly and narrow the angle. In the 21st, Lalrosanga brought up a fantastic block to deny Fran Gonsalves with the goalkeeper hopelessly out of position.

William Lalnunfela gave Aizawl a few potent attempts at the goal just before the half-time whistle, but the efforts either found the goalkeeper or missed he post entirely.

The second half saw a sharper home side take to the field, with Aizawl managing better defenses and and dominating possession.

Aizawl pressed on with confidence after the break and Mohun Bagan’s hopes received a blow with Naorem, who had given a good account of himself, being stretchered out.

Mohun Bagan also made two more changes bringing on S.K. Sahil and Spaniard Salva Chamorro to bolster its attack but they did not yield the desired results.

The season opener also saw a few names going down in the referee's book, but overall it was a competitive game that should have had goals to round it off with.

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