Aizawl FC clinched their first victory of the season thanks to 26-year-old Yugo Kobayashi's 88th-minute winner against Churchill Brothers at the Rajiv Gandhi Stadium on Wednesday.
Hosts Aizawl, who played their second fixture of the league after a 15-day break, missed the services of striker William Lalnunfela. As for the visiting side, Suraj replaced Emuejeraye Precious in defence and Karthik Govindswamy was replaced by Israil Gurung in midfield.
The hosts got off to a bright start and had the chance to open scoring within four minutes from kick-off. Defender Masih Saighani,sent a pass to Lalmuankima on the left-wing. The latter made a move on the flank and crossed the ball for Leonce Dodoz who met the delivery with his head but the header failed to beat the goal-keeper.
The hosts were in complete control of the game and also enjoyed lion’s share of possession. Lalmuankima was vital in dictating play as he constistently delivered crosses into the box from the left-wing. Around the half-hour mark, the men in red had an opportunity to gain the lead. Dodoz made a move on the left-side to make space for himself before he whipped the ball into the centre of the box but the strikers failed to get to the end of it.
The lack of finishing haunted the hosts throughout the half and the half-time whistle at the end of the first 45 minutes saw both the sides walk off the field with the scoreline unmoved.
The second-half was filled with action as the hosts created dozens of chances in an attempt to push for the match-winner. In the 55th minute, Lalthathanga Kawlhring was the man under the limelight as he set up the ball for skipper Jaryan who surged towards goal before Monday came across to block the dangerous move.
At the one-hour mark, Paulo Meneses’ side had two golden opportunities to to grab the first goal of the game. Substitute Zohmingmawia found himself unmarked inside the box and struck a right-footed shot which was blocked by goalkeeper Kithan and later, Yugo’s header off Lalmuankima’s delivery went over the bar.
It was only in the 88th minute that the Japanese striker could finally register his name on the score-sheet as his left-footed shot sailed past the Churchill Brothers custodian. It was Lalruatfela who started the move before Dodoz assisted Kobayashi.
The 1-0 result meant that The People’s Club registered their first victory of the season while opponents Churchill Brothers are yet to grab any points.