SPORTS | Aizawl FC beat Churchill in I-League match


Aizawl, Dec 13,2017: Defending champions Aizawl FC tasted their first win of the campaign with a 1-0 verdict over Churchill Brothers FC in their I-League match here on Wednesday.

Japanese forward Yugo Kobayashi (88th minute) scored the only goal of the game two minutes from the end of regulation time to hand Aizawl the full three points in their first home match of the ongoing 2017-18 season of the I-League.

The defending champions are now fifth in the 10-team I-League table with four points from two matches. They had played out a 2-2 draw with East Bengal in the first match of their campaign.

Churchill continue to languish at the bottom of the table, having lost all the three matches they have played so far.

William Lalnunfela, who scored a brace for Aizawl against East Bengal, was a notable absentee against Churchill Brothers.

Former India star Shylo Malsawmtluanga, the most experienced player in the squad, had to sit out again meaning he will have to wait longer to make his debut for Aizawl FC in the I-League.

Churchill coach Mykola Shevchenko made three changes to his starting XI that faced Mohun Bagan in their previous match. Suraj and Israil Gurung took the field as Karthik Govindswamy and Emuejeraye Precious failed to retain their place in the starting line-up.

The home side did not waste time in carving out their first chance of the match. Central defender Masih Saighani's perfectly weighted through ball was chased down by Mka to deliver a perfect cross for Ivorian forward Zikahi Leonce Dodoz who could not convert a golden chance as his header was parried away by Churchill goalkeeper James Kithan.

Kobayashi's shot from inside the box was blocked by Churchill centre-back Monday Osagie a few seconds later.

Though Aizawl dominated possession for the better part of the first half, they could not create any clear-cut chances. An injury to David Lalrinmuana hampered the hosts as they lacked creativity and ideas in the attacking third of the pitch.

After the hour-mark, the home side upped the tempo and created several good chances but poor finishing by Kobayashi let them down.

Just when Churchill thought they deserved a point from the game, Kobayashi calmly tucked in Dodoz's pass and slotted in the only goal of the match.

Towards the end of the game, six additional minutes were not enough for Churchill Brothers who are still left empty-handed after three straight losses in the ongoing season.