Shillong: Hosts Shillong Lajong pulled off a wonderful victory as they managed to beat reigning champions Aizawl FC 2-1 at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Shillong on Monday.
Abdoulaye Koffi (58') and Saihou Jagne (73') were on target for the hosts before Dodoz halved the gap (90+5') for the visitors in the added time.
Going into the match, Shillong Lajong assistant coach Alison Kharsyntiew made two changes to the line-up with Novin Gurung and Kynsailang Khongsit replacing Koffi and Alen Deory.
The first half kicked off to a pacy start with both teams playing a high tempo game. Aizawl were the first to attempt a goal as Dodoz got the ball past Novin in the 7th minute. But Lajong goalkeeper Nidhin was able to pull off a great save.
As the first half progressed, it became clear that Aizawl were biding their time and waiting for the perfect opportunity whereas Lajong were trying to break the deadlock by winning an early advantage through their more aggressive play.
Lajong started the second half with a substitution as Koffi came onto the pitch replacing Khongsit. Aizawl, on the other hand, began to fan out and attack the Lajong defence resulting in the hosts taking a more delicate approach in their offence in order to build up more on the defensive end.
The game was starting to look more like a tug of war as each team struggled back and forth to beat the other. But the advantage for Lajong came in the 58th minute through a brilliant goal by Koffi who managed to pull off a great header via an assist from Jagne.
Lajong's relentless attack paid off for the hosts in the 73rd minute when Jagne doubled their lead by beating the Aizawl goalkeeper net amid cheers from the home crowd.
With 8 minutes added, Aizawl scored a consolation goal through Dodoz.
With the win, Lajong replace Aizawl on the league table at fifth spot with 21 points. Aizawl, though, have a better goal difference and have played two games fewer than Lajong.
Lajong next host Indian Arrows on 23 February while Aizawl FC face a trip to Chandigarh to face Minerva Punjab FC three days later.
Updated Date: Feb 20, 2018 10:24 AM