Shillong Lajong was relegated from the I-League after Aizawl FC hammered the visitor 4-1 at the Rajiv Gandhi stadium in Aizawl.
Aizawl’s Liberian striker Ansumanah Kromah scored his seventh and eighth league goals while Mapuia helped himself to his sixth with Isak also getting onto the scoresheet late in the second half. Donboklang Lyngdoh, then, displayed the ‘never stop attacking’ mindset of Shillong’s young group aptly in injury time, with a classy finish. His goal, however, did little to gloss over a torrid campaign and afternoon.
With 21 points from 19 games, Aizawl now gives itself a realistic chance of finishing two better than its current eighth position.
Both coaches Stanley Rosario of Aizawl and Alison Kharsyntiew of Shillong made three changes each to their starting line-ups. Aizawl brought Gurpreet back in goal while Shillong started with Samuel Lalmuanpuia and Sheen Stevenson up front.
Aizawl dominated from the beginning. In the 28th minute, from a wonderful Isak cross from the right saw a header from Hmingthan Mawia blocked by Kenstar Kharsong in the Shillong defence.
In the 40th minute, however, Kenstar was adjudged to have brought down Kromah inside the box and referee Ibungo Meetei immediately pointed to the spot. Kromah converted without fuss.
The second half began as the first with Aizawl having the better possession and purpose with ideas.
Mapuia, after missing a golden chance to double the lead for his side in the 76th minute, did in fact, achieve his goal in the 81st minute.
Isak’s ball into the box from the right fell invitingly for Mapuia who made no mistake to head home.
The third came two minutes later as Kromah got his second of the game. A Kenstar back pass to Chalieu went horribly wrong for the young keeper, as the Liberian poacher made him pay.
Isak finally got a well-deserved goal for himself and rounded up the tally with a strike after a brilliant solo square run along the box and then unleashing from the top of the box to bulge the Shillong net with a minute left of regulation time.
Shillong’s first shot on target was affected seconds later by Samuel Lalmuanpuia and Shillong finally had something to show in the third minute of injury time as another substitute Donbok, broke away from his marker inside the box on the left, following a lovely ball from Sheen, to finish sweetly past Gurpreet in the left corner.
Shillong has conceded 53 in the league but many of its 22 scored have been a joy to watch. Aizawl, meanwhile, keeps improving under Stanley Rozarion and it should help the side in its key campaigns ahead.
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