I League 2017-18: Bagan settles for thrilling draw against Aizwal

Bagan equalised in the 78th minute to snatch a draw from the fighting side of Aizawl.

Following a goalless draw in the opening half, both the sides went for an all-out attack in the second half.   -  AIFF

Mandeep Singh took a well decided penalty and made no mistake to drive the ball home, as record champion Mohun Bagan settled for a thrilling 1-1 draw against the defending champion Aizawl FC in the I-League 2017-18 tie at Mizoram on Thursday. Bagan equalised in the 78th minute to snatch a draw from the fighting side of Aizwal.

In what was a thrilling match, which included pretty much everything, a red card, penalty, penalty calls, along with spectacular saves by the keeper; it was Leonce Dodoz of Ivory, who earned the Man of the Match award for the evening.

Aizawl coach Paulo Menezes made a couple of changes in the playing XI, bringing in David Rinmuana and Lalhriatrenga for Kareem Omolaja and Lalthathanga Khawlhring. Bagan made a sole change in the form of Rana Gharami replacing Kingshuk Debnath.

Barely a minute after the game kicked off, the Aizawl defenders were off to an aggressive start, as it was Yugo Kobayashi of Japabn, who was booked for a rough challenge over Kingsley. However, Aizawl dominated in terms of ball possession throughout the match.

Moghrabi of Lebanon helped Bagan to have the first shot on target, as a free-kick saw Watson’s shot being comfortably held by keeper Avilash Paul. The host immediately went on an attacking mode, as Albert went for a shot, but failed to keep it on the target.

Following a goalless draw in the opening half, both the sides went for an all-out attack in the second half. Aizawl’s Andrei Ionescu of Romania had the first chance of the half, but the Bagan defenders were too strong for him. It was not until the 73rd minute, when Khawlrhing broke the deadlock for the host.

However, it was just five minutes later, when the visitor was awarded a penalty after Moghrabi was brought down in the box by Avilash Paul. It was Manandeep, who took the perfect shot for a perfect goal to level things up once again.

Following the equaliser, the game went up a notch as Aizawl skipper Alfred Jaryan was sent off for bringing down Moghrabi, while both the teams played it out swiftly until the full time whistle to settle for a thrilling draw.

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