Aizawl´s unbeaten run in the league came to an end as they lost 0-1 to their Northeast counterpart Shillong Lajong in the first Northeast Derby of the season played at Rajiv Gandhi Stadium, Aizawl.
In a hard-fought encounter in Aizawl, Lajong´s Khasi winger Redeem Tlang scored the only goal in the 60 minute of the game to which Aizawl couldn´t find a reply as Lajong secured their third win of the season. The win gives Shillong Lajong FC the much needed three points and with this win, they move to the second position in the league table equal on points with leaders Minerva Punjab FC but have played one game more than the league leaders.
The match was not played at the tempo the fans would have expected, both teams found it hard to carve out goalscoring chances. Just after the half-hour mark, Yemenese midfielder Al-Hagri danced past Aizawl´s Saighani and Kareem but his weak shot was collected easily by goalkeeper Avilash Paul, Al Hagri was given another gem of a chance but again his poor finishing let him down.
After an array of chances in the first 45 minutes, the score stood at 0-0 at the end of the first half.
Both teams started the second half brightly but it was the away team who scored the first goal of the match. Al Hagri´s shot inside the box was blocked by the Aizawl´s boys but the ball fell to Khasi winger Redeem Tlang, who calmly curled the ball towards the far side of the net and scored his second league goal of the season. Tlang again got a chance but the winger´s effort was heroically palmed away by the Aizawl FC goalkeeper.
Menezes introduced Romanian attacker Andrei Ionescu at 67 minutes but the substitution was in vain as Andrei had little effect on the game. H.Lalmuankima penalty appeal was not given by referee Om Prakash Thakur and a few moments later Kobayshi´s shot flew just over the crossbar.
Aizawl now in 6th place has played 3 games and has managed 4 points along the way. Aizawl will welcome high-flying and league leader Minerva Punjab FC in their last home game of the year on 27 December. Lajong will play their second Northeast Derby against Hero I-League debutant Manipuri club NEROCA FC on 23 December 2017.
FULL TIME: Aizawl FC 0-1 Shillong Lajong FC,
90+4: Substitution Redeem Tlang OFF Samuel James Lyngdoh IN
90+2: Yellow card Phurba Tempa Lachenpa
90+1: Yellow card Masih Saighani
90: Four minutes added time
82: Substitution K Lalthathanga OFF Rochharzela IN
74: Yellow card Novin Gurung
74: Substitution Daniel Odafin OFF F Lalrohlua IN
67: Substitution H Lalbiakthanga OFF Andrei Ionescu IN
66: Substitution Kareem Omolaja Nurain OFF Hmingthan Mawia In
60: Substitution Shaiborlang Kharpan IN Alen Deory IN