Football: Aizawl FC outclass Shillong Lajong in NE derby
Aizawl FC vs Shillong Lajong FC saw the first Northeast derby of the year with Aizawl hosting the Shillong side. Lajong dominated the first 20 minutes with the defence much more organized than the previous two matces. Shillong Lajong were awarded a penalty early on but Fabio missed and the opportunity to go one up was lost. Tempers flew high in the first half Chinglensana got the first yellow card of the match in the 18th minute. The foul count also started piling up with Aizawl FC committing most of the fouls.
The visitors had the better chances in the first half with Aizawl defending deeper and deeper. Aizawl got a hold of their nerves and had some great chances to take the lead but the Lajong defence has learnt from the first 2 matches where they conceded 5 goals and looked much more stable and secure.
Aizawl FC's midfield had little impact in the first half and failed to retain possession however in the 31st minute, poor defending and hasty clearance by Lajong changed the game as the home side scored courtesy Lalruatthara.
Alfred moving more on the right for the homeside has proven a good tactic. Nervy moments followed as Aizawl FC gained confidence tried to convert more chances. Lajong started the game well but lost momentum after conceding the first goal. Fabio who missed the penalty was missing throughout the first half.
Shillong Lajong started well in the second half with a great cross from Fabio into the box, however Lajong failed to score. Aizawl were defensively solid while Lajong tried to break the home side, however both sides lost possesion quite easily. Aizawl score again from a counter attack as new signee Jayesh Rane made it two at the 63rd minute. The hosts almost made it 3 in the 73rd minute but luckily for the visitors it went out for a corner.
Lajong were then awarded another penalty in the 83rd minute which was successfully converted by Yuta Kinowaki. The Shillong side have been unable to convert any of their freekicks or corners which were plenty.
Surprisingly veteran India player Rocus Lamare has not been seen in any of the last 3 matches and it will be interesting to see if he will be part of the squad in the next few matches. His experience and ability would surely help the Shillong side.
Lajong have now scored just one goal in 3 games with 3 back to back losses and remain at the bottom of the table. Aizawl have made a very impressive start to the season and if they continue like this will be one of the very realistic contenders for the title although it is still very early days.
-By Jessica Passah for TNT-The Northeast Today
Image Courtesy: Aizawl FC(Facebook page)