I-League 2017-18: Defending champions Aizawl FC earn first win of the season against Churchill Brothers
Defending champion Aizawl FC defeated Churchill Brothers by a solitary goal to garner full three points from their first home match of the ongoing I-League.
Aizawl: Defending champion Aizawl FC defeated Churchill Brothers by a solitary goal to garner full three points from their first home match of the ongoing I-League on Wednesday.
Yugo Kobayashi scored a late goal in the 88th minute to bring a sigh of relief for the home fans.
William Lalnunfela, who scored a brace for Aizawl against Kingfisher East Bengal, was the notable absentee against Churchill Brothers.
Shylo Malsawmtluanga, the most experienced player in the squad again had to sit out on Wednesday meaning he will have to wait longer to make his debut for Aizawl FC in I-League.
Churchill coach Mykolo Shevchenko made three changes to his playing XI that faced Mohun Bagan in their previous match.
Suraj and Israil Gurung took the field as Karthik Govindswamy and Emuejeraye Precious failed to retain their place in the starting line-up.
The home side did not waste time in carving out their first chance of the match.
Centre back Saighani perfectly weighted a through ball which was chased down by Mka to deliver a perfect cross for Ivorian forward Dodoz, but the forward who have played for Aizawl's rival Chanmari FC earlier could not convert the golden chance.
His header was parried away by Churchill goalkeeper Kithan.
Japanese forward Kobayashi's shot from inside the box was blocked by centre-back Osagie Monday a few seconds later.
Though Aizawl dominated possession for the better part of the first half, they could not create any clear-cut chance.
After the hour-mark, the home side upped the tempo and created several good chances but Kobayashi failed to convert the opportunities that fell on his path.
Just when Churchill thought they deserved a point from the game Kobayashi scored the only goal of the game in the 88th minute.
Having calmly tucked in Dodoz's pass, the shrewd forward slotted the solitary goal of the match.
Aizawl with four points from two games now move up to the fifth spot on the table but Churchill's nightmare continues as the Red Machines continue to totter at the bottom of the table.
The Goan team have to quickly shrug off the loss as they travel to Kolkata to play the high-flying Kingfisher East Bengal on 16 December.
Aizawl will play their next home game against Shillong Lajong two days later.
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