Aizawl FC claimed their first victory of this I-League campaign against Gokulam Kerala FC by a 2-0 margin at Moun Bagan Training Ground on Wednesday. Goals from Malsawmzuala and Lalrammawia were decisive enough to give the club 3 points.
Aizawl FC started the match with attacking mentality and they made it clear that they wouldn’t hold back anything against the Durand cup champion. In the 3rd minute, the Mizoram based club could have taken the early lead when Lalremsanga’s header came off a cross from the right flank just to be saved by the opponent shot-stopper.
Gokulam Kerala FC mostly focused on counter-attacks and in the 21st minute, the Afgan newcomer Sharif Mukhammad found Philip Adjah with a good through ball. However, Adjah couldn’t utilize the chance and failed to chip the ball to grab the opening against the onrushing goalkeeper.
Aizawl FC opened the scoreboard in the 40th minute when Malsawmzuala was brought down inside the box after a cross from right-wing. The attacker scored comfortably from that position to give the former champions a lead.
Gokulam Kerala FC could have ended the first half with an equalizer if Sharif Mukhammad’s free-kick from the edge of the box wasn’t deflected by the woodwork. So Aizawl got an early lead before half-time.
Into the second half of the 62nd minute, Kerala FC again got a good chance when Dennis Antwi was left unmarked. Antwi tried to curl the ball into the top corner around the goalkeeper but woodwork saved Aizawl FC from losing their lead.
The Malabarians dominated the possession and searched for the equalizer, started playing more as an attacking team. In the 69th minute, Philip Adjah again got a golden opportunity as a through ball produced by Jitin but missed the chance. He shot straight towards the goalkeeper and the shot-stopper of Aizawl FC comfortably saved that from close range.
Finally, in the 76th minute, Aizawl FC scored the 2nd goal when Lalrammawia was delivered from the corner kick and he couldn’t fail to convert it as he side-footed the ball into the back of the net.
Despite having a better second half Gokulam Kerala FC failed to score a goal and the match ended with scoreline 2-0.