Rohit Danu becomes youngest I-League scorer as Indian Arrows edge Aizawl FC
Indian Arrows snatched a 1-0 victory over hosts and former Champions Aizawl FC thanks to a solitary goal from youngster Rohit Danu the 57th game of the 12th Hero I-League 2018-19.
By virtue of this goal, Danu also became the youngest player to score a goal in the I-League beating fellow Arrows starlet Jitendra Singh to the record, at the age of 16 years, five months and 27 days.
The match that was played at the Rajiv Gandhi Stadium, in Aizawl saw Indian Arrows rise up in the Hero I-League points table to the ninth position, while hosts Aizawl FC slipped a place to be now in the 10th spot. Anwar Ali of Indian arrows was adjudged as the Hero of the Match.
As expected, Aizawl, fresh from their fighting win against Gokulam Kerala FC in their last encounter, started on an attacking note. However, the Indian Arrows, who are known for their rock-solid defence, stood up to their reputation, denying the hosts any clear chance.
Their persistence was soon rewarded when a faulty pass from Aizawl’s Nigerian defender – Kareem Nurain to Lalronsonga was cleverly intercepted at the centre line by Arrows mid-fielder Khumanthem Meetei. Meetei thereafter made a beautiful run from the centre line to play a superb pass to Rohit Danu just outside the box, who made no mistakes in ensuring that the ball ended up in the back of the net on the 14th minute.
The game, thereafter, saw Aizawl come back with added enthusiasm but full marks to the dedicated defence line of the Arrows, the hosts couldn’t really make the most of their experience in finding an equaliser.
The closest that Aizawl probably came to beating the Arrows defence and scoring was when Rochher Zella missed an open scoring opportunity, misdirecting the ball off an inch-perfect pass from Fanai. The game thereafter was a mix of attempts from both sides as the first half came to closure with Indian Arrows leading by a solitary goal.
The second half began with Aizawl FC pressing hard to score from the first minute, but the Arrows solid defence line was way too hard for them to breach. Numerous attempts to score by the former champions were foiled time and again by the young visitors through some beautiful interceptions inside the box, while on a few occasions when the hosts did breach the Arrows defenders, it was their goalkeeper Prabhsukhan Gill, who stood tall enough to deny Aizawl a chance to equalise.
On the other hand, Indian Arrows took a few attempts at the Aizawl goal on the counter but failed to double their lead. The second half, which was played mostly out on the midfield, came to an end with the young Indian Arrows snatching a 1-0 victory against hosts and former champions Aizawl FC.
Full-time: Aizawl 0-1 Indian Arrows
90: Four minutes of added time
87: Substitution Rohit Danu OFF Sanjeev Stalin IN
80: Substitution Rochharzela OFF Mamit Vanlalduatsanga IN
71: Substitution Lalengmawia Suresh OFF Singh Wangjam IN
64: Substitution Isak Vanlalruatfela OFF Paul Ramfangzauva IN
63: Substitution Khumanthem Ninthoinganba OFF Meetei Vikram Pratap Singh IN
46: Second half kick-off
Half-time: Aizawl FC 0-1 Indian Arrows
43: Yellow card Isak Vanlalruatfela
34: Substitution Lalkhawpuimawia OFF Lalremsanga Fanai IN