Stoppage time winner puts Aizawl FC in driving seat
A dramatic finish in the first leg of the second semi-final saw Aizawl FC grab a late winner as they overcome Mizoram Police with a 2-1 victory.
Both sides had looked set to go home on equal terms after Lalfakzuala struck a late equaliser for Mizoram Police. But there was still enough time for a late twist with captain Alfred Jaryan finding the top corner from a glorious strike.
Bouyed by their first win in the Hero I-League on the weekend, Aizawl FC started the game with intent fielding striker Lalkhawpuimawia as well as Kyrgyzstani midfielder Bektur Talgat Uulu in the starting XI.
But it was Mizoram Police who threatened first when midfielder V. Laltanpuia floated in a wonderfully weighted pass for Lalbiakhlua but the wideman could only finish it straight at Aizawl FC goalkeeper Lalawmpuia. Malsawmfela also had time and space for a shot but it was Lalawmpuia again who thwarted the striker.
Lalkhawpuimawia was presented a chance twice at the other end but Police defender B. Sena and goalkeeper Muanawma were there to deny him on both occasions.
Aizawl FC took the lead on the 28th minute with Bektur finishing off a freekick registering his first goal for the club.
The two time champions controlled proceedings after the restart as they created opportunities to score their second. Police goalkeeper Muanawma saved from Remsanga from inside the box before having to deny Rochharzela with a brilliant save. The custodian put in a superb display in goal as he also denied Alfred Jaryan soon after.
Mizoram Police had looked to break on the counterattack and almost pulled off a brilliant move when F. Lalrinpuia put Lalfakzuala through on goal, but the latter could only finish just inches wide.
Fakzuala did make amends for his miss in the 84th minute when Lalbiakhlua headed the ball into his path and he struck a beautiful first time volley into Awmpuia´s net.
The goal lifted Mizoram Police FC as they seemed to have done enough to earn themselves a level playing field for the second leg but it was a piece of pure magic that denied them in stoppage time.
Substitute Alfred Jaryan got possession outside of the box and took a couple of touches as he set himself up between three Police defenders to strike a venomous shot that went into the top corner.
The goal will give Aizawl FC the advantage as they face off for the second leg on December 1 at Lammual.