Aizawl FC came back to their winning ways in the Hero I-League as they garnered a 1-0 win over DSK Shivajians, thanks to the late goal by Brandon who came in from the bench at the stroke of the hour mark.
Prior to the match, both sides had played 5 matches each, with Aizawl FC at the third spot with 10 points and DSK Shivajians FC were seventh in the table, with one win to their credit with their tally of 5 points.
Khalid Jamil wanted a turnaround from the tame defeat against Chennai City and made two changes to his side. R Laldanmawia and H Lalmuankima came into the side with Albert Zohmingmawia and Lalrinzuala Khiangte sitting out.
Dave Rogers meanwhile made only one change to the side that comfortably held Mohun Bagan at home with local Mizoram boy Lallianzuala Chhangte coming in beside Seong-Yong Kim upfront.
Though both the sides wanted to walk away with points, that did not really translate across in the match. In the fifth minute, DSK Shivajians were awarded a free-kick from 40 yards, but that did not turn out to be a success.
A couple of minutes later, Ashutosh Mehta made an excellent through ball which R. Laldanmawia dribbled past an away defender but he failed to find the back of the net, with his shot going haywire. Ashutosha��s striking cross also got blocked by the away defence a minute later.
Aizawl’s efforts suffered a massive blow before the match was even a quarter old, with talismanic midfielder Mahmoud Al-Amena hobbling off with injury and William Lalnunfela brought in his place.
However, the substitution did not subdue the hosts as Lalruatthara, on one of his overlapping runs, sent in a delightful cross which goalkeeper Poirei spilled onto the path of Kima only to see the Aizawl midfielder failing to hit the target from close range.
Second Half Action
Rogers made two changes at the stroke of half time with the ineffective Chhangte replaced by Seityasen Singh and Shane McFaul replacing midfielder Jerry.
The change seemed to bear no fruit as the match became congested in midfield.A�Jamil was forced to make two more changes due to injuries before the hour mark, filling his quota as he had to bring on Brandon and Lalramchullova.
The changes seemed to benefit the away side who looked to come back into the match and Jerry Lalrinzuala almost scored the opener in the 72nd minute with an audacious effort from almost 30 yards out but saw it go inches wide.
However, it was the home side who had the last laugh with Jayesh Rane and Stephan Kamo involved in the buildup. Rane’s cross from the right was cushioned on to the path of substitute Brandon who made no mistake as he smashed it to give his side the lead at the death.
With minutes left to go, Aizawl saw out the match and won all three points, and deservedly so.A�Aizawl FC skipper Alfred Jaryan was bestowed with the Hero of the Match award.
Both teams have difficult fixtures on their way now, with Aizawl travelling away to take on Mohun Bagan while Shivajians welcome reigning champions Bengaluru FC to Pune.