In the dying minutes of the match, defender Ashutosh Mehta netted the winner to help Aizwal FC get their season up and running with a 1-0 win against newcomers Minerva Punjab in Aizwal on Friday.

Despite hogging a lion’s share of possession, the home side failed to create clear-cut chances. Punjab set themselves up for a point but their resistance was broken with Aizwal attacking in numbers.

Aizwal’s efforts were largely restricted to long-range efforts in the first half. Minutes before the referee’s whistle for half-time, winger Jayesh Rane rattled the crossbar with a thumping shot from outside the box.

The second was not too indifferent from the first in terms out action at the goalmouth. The Punjab defence stood firm but there were signs of Aizwal finding a way with Kamo Stephane Bayi coming close on a couple of occasions in the final quarter of the game.

Mehta had come on only in the 84th minute. He nodded home the winner from a corner from Mahmoud Al Amna’s delivery.

Brief scores:

Aizwal FC 1 (Ashutosh Mehta) beat Minerva Punjab 0