I-League 2019-20: Aizawl FC, Churchill Brothers Play Out Exciting 2-2 Draw
I-League 2019-20: Churchill Brothers went on top of the points table after a 2-2 draw with Aizawl FC.
Aizawl FC drew 2-2 with Churchill Brothers. (Photo Credit: @ILeagueOfficial)
Aizawl: Aizawl FC and Churchill Brothers played out an intense 2-2 draw at the Rajiv Gandhi Athletic Stadium on Wednesday, January 8 in I-League 2019-20. Aizawl fans were looking to watch their team get a first home win of the season but had to settle for a draw again. After the result, Aizawl FC are placed fifth in the points table with nine points from seven games whereas Churchill Brothers go to the top of the charts with 10 points from five matches.
Aizawl FC started with a few new names in the line-up today, which saw the inclusion of the January transfer import Ramhlunchhunga. There was another change in the form of Lalrosanga, who was playing in the position of a suspended Joseph Adjei.
The match started on a slow note as neither team looked dominant from the onset. The first major moment came in the 29th minute with a set-piece from Kalif Alhassan of Churchill Brothers. His dipping strike at the goal was bound for the lower right corner of the net but the Aizawl keeper Lalawmpuia, carrying his form from the last match forward, made a diving save to his right. Churchill Brothers again got a chance with a free shot for Vinil Poojary soon after but his strike from inside the box went just wide.
Despite the early chances falling the visitors' way, it was the home team that took the lead. In the 44th minute, a low cross from the right flank by Joe Zoherliana was foiled by the away keeper but it fell to Aizawl's Abdoulaye Kanoute who made no mistake and tapped the ball into the net from close range.
The second half resumed and this time, Churchill Brothers came out with more attacking intent and looked sharper. Another factor that seemed to be working for Churchill was the introduction of Israil Gurung -- their set-piece expert at half-time who proved his worth immediately.
In the 64th minute, Israil got a free-kick from the right side of the Aizawl box and produced a dangerous curling strike that Lalawmpuia saved but he couldn't control it and the loose ball was finally tapped in Robert Jr. Primus to level the score at 1-1.
Both teams were now trying to score the winning goal but Aizawl fell behind in the 78th minute as a poor defensive clearance by the team resulted in a close-range strike by Vinil Poojary
The onus was now on Aizawl and on a day when the Churchill goalkeeper Mohammad Jafar Mondal wasn't at his best, they fancied their chances of a comeback. In the 80th minute, a cross from the left side of the box was spilled by Mondal and the ball landed for an easy tap in at the feet of Isak Vanlalruatfela. He made no mistake and smashed the ball in the back of the net leveling the score at 2-2.
In the dying moments of the match, both teams tried to score a goal but none could create a clear chance. The match ended with the scores level, which also marks the fourth consecutive draw for Aizawl FC at home. Isak from Aizawl FC walked away with the Hero of the Match award.
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