I-League: Aizawl suffers defeat against Shillong Lajong

Redeem Tlang scored in the 60 minute to help Shillong Lajong FC secure its third win of the season, as the champion suffered its first defeat of the season in the I-League 2017.

Redeem Tlang Shillong Lajong vs Aizawl FC

Shillong Lajong's Redeem Tlang (19) scored the only goal of the game against Aizawl FCwith a curling effort   -  Twitter @AizawlFC

Khasi winger Redeem Tlang scored the solitary goal as Shillong Lajong snapped the unbeaten run of Aizawl with a 1-0 win in the first Northeast Derby of the I- League season at the Rajiv Gandhi stadium on Monday.

In a hard-fought encounter, Redeem Tlang scored in the 60 minute to help Shillong Lajong FC secure its third win of the season.

The win gives Lajong the much needed three points and with this win it moves to the second position in the league table. It is equal on points with leader Minerva Punjab FC but has played one game more than the league leader.

Aizawl, which had managed to garner 25 points from the possible 27 points at home last season, made only one change to the team that faced Churchill Brother with Lalbiak Thanga filling the gap left by injured David Rinmuana.

Lajong’s coach Nongbet made two changes, replacing captain Samuel Lalmuanpuia and Alen Deory in the starting XI with Shaibor Karpan and Kynsailang Khongsit respectively.

Diminutive winger H. Lalmuankima stole the ball at the halfway line and sent a delightful pass to Yugo Kobayashi only for the Japanese to waste his golden chance.

Kobayashi was alone in the box with no pressure from the Lajong boys, but still couldn’t find the back of the net.

Both teams found it hard to carve out goal scoring chances and just after the half hour mark, Yemenese midfielder Al-Hagri danced past Aizawl’s Saighani and Kareem but his weak shot was collected easily by goalkeeper Avilash Paul.

Al Hagri was given another gem of a chance but again his poor finishing let him down. After an array of chances in the first 45 minutes the score stood at 0-0 at the end of the first half.

Both teams started the second half brightly but it was the away team who drew first blood. Al Hagri’s shot inside the box was blocked by the Aizawl’s boys but the ball fell to Tlang, who calmly curved the ball towards the far side of the net and scored his second league goal of the season.

Tlang again got a chance but the winger’s effort was heroically palmed away by the Aizawl FC goal keeper.

Menezes introduced Romanian attacker Andrei Ionescu in the 67th minute but the substitution was in vain as Andrei had little effect on the game.

Lalmuankima penalty appeal was not given by referee Om Prakash Thakur and a few moments later Kobayshi’s shot flew just over the cross bar.

Aizawl now in 6th place has played three games, managing 4 points along the way.

Aizawl will host high-flying Minerva Punjab FC in its last home game of the year on December 27, while Lajong will play its second Northeast Derby against I-League debutant Manipuri club NEROCA FC on December 23.

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