AIZAWL FC UPSETS A DEPLETED MOHUN BAGAN TO THROW THE LEAGUE WIDE OPEN - THE INDIAN LEAGUE

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Saturday, 26 March 2016

AIZAWL FC UPSETS A DEPLETED MOHUN BAGAN TO THROW THE LEAGUE WIDE OPEN

      

Aizawl FC handed the defending champions, Mohun Bagan their first defeat of the season in the rescheduled Round 12 encounter played at Rajiv Gandhi Stadium, Mualpui. Joel Sunday put the Highlanders ahead in the 3rd minute itself but Cornell Glenn restored the parity in the 24th minute. Lalchhawnkima scored the winner in the 54th minute to get his team out of the bottom of the league.

AFC's coach, Jahar Das, went in the match with four changes. Albert Zohmingmawia replaced Biaktea in the midfield and Lalawmpuia was handed his debut ahead of regular goalkeeper, Soram Poirei. Emmanuel Chigoze and Lalram Chullova, who were serving suspension, were replaced by HS Immanuel Lalthazuala and Lalchawnkima in the defence.

Mohun Bagan, who were missing many crucial players owing to the international break had to make four changes. With Jeje Lalpekhlua, Sony Norde, Pronay Halder and Pritam Kotal away on national duty, Assistant Coach, Shankar Chakraborty brought in Cornell Glenn, Manish Bhargav, Dhanachandra Singh and Souvik Chaudhary as replacements.

The home team had a brilliant start to the game as their Nigerian Striker, Joel Sunday scored in the 3rd minute to give his side the lead. Aizawl FC made some more foray's into the opposition's goal in the leading minutes but none were successfull.

Mohun Bagan's Japanese midfielder was looked his industrious best as he eased passed Zuala on the left wing in the 12th minute but his subsequent curl went wide off the goal. He earned a free kick in the 14th minute but the team failed to make any impact.

Cornell Glenn came close to equalise for the visitors in the 16th minute but failed to score from 8 yard distance. But he made amends to that in the 24th minute when a comedy of errors ensued in the highlanders box caused by lack communication between Kimkima and debutant keeper, Lalawmpuia and the Trinidadian World Cupper made the most of the moment and equalised for the Green & Maroon.

The goal acted as shot in the arm of the Mariners as they upped the ante against the host. Subhash Singh earned a free kick in a dangerous area in the 27th minute but Katsumi Yusa failed to make anything out of it as the ball went over the cross bar.

Mariners earned another free kick when Cornell Glenn was brought down just outside the box. Katsumi's ensuing free kick failed yet again to do any damage as the ball flew just wide off the goal post.

The match went into Half Time with both teams scoring one goal each with the home team proving to be the better one with superior ball possession percentage.

Mohun Bagan's assistant coach, Shankarlal Chakraborty brought in Manish Bhargav in place of Kean Lewis right after half time.

Cornell Glenn and Subhash Singh made a threatening move on the right flank in the 51st minute but Ruatthara cleared Subhash's cross before any damage could be done.

Aizawl FC were awarded a penalty in the 54th minute when a Dhanachandra Singh blocked a shot by Ruatthara with hand. Kimkima took the ensuing penalty kick and sent opposition goal keeper the wrong way to give his team the lead.

Aizawl FC came close to scoring their third goal in the 59th minute, when Brandon's cross from the right flank found Albert but timely intervention by Debjit Majumder prevented any further damage.

Three minutes later Brandon and Albert were involved in another goal scoring opportunity the former supplied the ball to the later from the right flank who passed it to the captain, David but his shot went above the bar.

Debjit Majumder, who recently earned a National team call up, showed why he is the best Goal Keeper in the country. David curled the corner kick inside the danger area with Sunday's header going right on target but Majumder made a timely block to deny another goal to the highlanders.

Aizawl FC continued to dominate the game as they fought for every ball and showed that they are not mere pushovers in this year's League.

The referee made some controversial decisions in the final 10 minutes of the game which did not go well with the crowd. In the 83rd minute, Alfred Jayran was brought down in the penalty area by Abhishek Das but the referee denied penalty kick to the home team.

Four minutes later, Katsumi Yusa fouled Aizawl FC's captain, David. With the crowd hoping for a yellow card, the referee thought a free kick would be enough.

Five minutes were added to the regulation time but apart from a yellow card to Katsumi Yusa for kicking the ball in anger, it came out with no more surprises.

This win helped Aizawl FC move out of the relegation zone and now they are on 5th position with 12 points In 12 games, but they have played one game more than Shillong Lajong who are at the bottom with 11 points. Next they travel to Shillong to play their Round 14 match against fellow North East club, Shillong Lajong on 1st April.

Mohun Bagan, on the other hand continue to occupy the top spot in the league table with 25 points in 12 games but this loss means that they have lost their 3 points advantage against Bengaluru FC who are on 2nd spot with 22 points in 11 games. Mohun Bagan will travel to Siliguri where they take on City rivals, East Bengal in the famous Kolkata Derby.