Kalyani (West Bengal), Feb 28 : Despite losing out on the race to the top half of the table of the I-League, Aizawl FC picked up three vital points in the race to stay safe from relegation by beating 10-man Chennai City 3-0 at the Kalyani Municipal Stadium on Sunday.
Goals by Lalmuanzova, Malsawmtluanga and Lalremsanga led the Mizoram-based club to an easy win over their opponents while Chennai’s Vladimir Molerovic missed a penalty in the second half.
With both Mohammedan SC and TRAU winning earlier in the day, Aizawl FC were left reeling as their hunt for the top half of the table concluded. Nevertheless, they had everything to play for as vital points were at stake to save either team from relegation.
Aizawl FC were gifted an early goal in the 6th minute when Lijo Francis failed to make a simple clearance, allowing Lalmuanzova to pounce on the loose ball and smash home to hand Yan Law’s team the lead.
The first few minutes of the match decided its fate, and Chennai City FC were left reeling, down to 10-men in the 12th minute when goalkeeper Kabir Toufik was given the marching orders for an off-the-ball altercation with Lalliansanga.
Chennai could have found their equaliser in the 28th minute, much against the run of play. Charles Anandaraj sent a cross for Jockson Dhas in the box but the latter’s first-time effort was saved by the goalkeeper.
If the first goal was a gift for Aizawl, the second was truly worth making the highlights reel. Malsawmtluanga stood tall over a free-kick right outside the box and sent a curling shot that rattled the woodwork and crashed into the net as Aizawl FC doubled their lead.
Unable to make the most of their opportunities up front and left reeling with 10 men, Chennai City FC could only commit bodies in defence to stop the Aizawl FC juggernaut. The half-time scoreline read 2-0 in the Mizoram-based club’s favour.
In the 51st minute, Aizawl FC safe-guarded their win as Lalremsanga found the back of the net from a corner that caused chaos in the penalty box before Sanga bundled the ball home.
With this win, Aizawl FC are tied on points (15) with RoundGlass Punjab FC. However, they cannot make the cut for the top six because of a head-to-head scenario where they lost to Punjab FC 0-1 on the opening day of the season.