Reigning champions Aizawl FC have given their supporters a reason to smile now having registered an important win against the table-toppers Minerva Punjab FC at the Rajiv Gandhi Stadium in Aizawl on Wednesday afternoon.
Paulo Menezes´boys started the game upbeat as they forced the away team in their own half. David, Ionescu, and Alfred dominated the midfield but the Minerva defense was a hard nut to get breached by the Highlanders.
Leonce Dodoz was lively on the right side but could not break down Minerva´s defense as well. The home side dominated the ball possession but could not carve out a clear-cut goal scoring chance.
Both the teams were scoreless in the first 45 minutes.
Aizawl continued to dominate the second half as well and scored the first goal of the game in the 72 minute through Kareem Omolaja. David´s corner kick was guided to the far post of Minerva´s goal by defender Kareem Omolaja to leave goalkeeper Dagar completely stranded.
Five minutes before the regulation time Aizawl FC doubled the lead through Romanian midfielder Ionescu who made no mistake to slot the ball home on Dodoz´s cross
Minerva pulled one back through Girik Khosla in the added minute of the second half however it was too late for Punjab side come back to the game.
Following the win, Aizawl FC jumps to the sixth spot with 7 points from 4 matches whereas Minerva Punjab Fc continues to enjoy the pole with 13 points from 6 matches.
Aizawl FC will now travel to Kozhikode to lock their horns with Gokulam Kerala FC on the final day of 2017 while Minerva will have a long break before they take on Gokulam Kerala in the next clash on January 6, 2018.
Full-time: Aizawl 2-1 Minerva Punjab
90+5: Goal Girik Mahesh Khosla
90: Five minute added.
85: Goal Andrei Ionescu
83: Substitution H Lalmuankima OFF K Lalthathanga IN
80: Substitution Bali Gagandeep OFF Moinuddin Khan IN
79: Yellow card Amandeep Singh
76: Yellow card Masih Saighani
73: Substitution Lago Dagbo Bei OFF Girik Mahesh Khosla IN
72: Goal Kareem Omolaja Nurain
71: Substitution William Lalnunfela OFF Yugo Kobayashi IN
71: Substitution Alfred Kemah Jaryan OFF Hmingthan Mawia IN
61: Yellow card Chencho Gyeltshen
46: Second half underway...
Half-time: Aizawl 0-0 Minerva Punjab
45: Two minutes of added time
40: Substitution Toshiya Hosoe OFF Lago Dagbo Bei IN
1: First half kick off..
Minerva Punjab FC line-up: Sukhdev Singh, Toshiya Hosoe, Chencho Gyeltshen, Bali Gagandeep, Kassim Aidara, Kamalpreet Singh, Guy Eric Dano, Abhishek Ambekar, Rakshit Dagar, William Opoku Asiedu, Amandeep Singh
Aizawl FC line-up: Masih Saighani, Zikahi Leonce Dodoz, Avilash Paul, Kareem Omolaja Nurain, David Lalrinmuana, Alfred Kemah Jaryan, H.lalmuan Kima, Andrei Ionescu, Lalram Hmunmawia, R. laldinliana, William Lalnunfela