I-League champions Aizawl FC keep winning as a 89th minute winner from tournament top scorer Laldanmawia Ralte sealed a spot in the Federation Cup semi-finals for Khalid Jamil’s men.
Their second win in as many games in the 2017 edition of the tournament came at the expense of Churchill Brothers, who had equalised with six minutes of regulation time left, only for Aizawl to snatch a late winner, as has happened many a time this I-League season.
The champions started the brighter of the two teams as Dan Mawia, Mahmoud Al-Amna and co. attacked Naveen Kumar’s goal incessantly. Brandon Vanlalremdika, who came into the squad, was pulling all the strings and played a superb ball to Kamo Stephane Bayi who shot the ball straight at goalie Kumar.
Churchill were giving the ball unnecessarily and Lalruatthara running down the left-side was brought down by Keenan Almeida in the box. The ensuing spot-kick was coolly converted by Lalramchullova who sent Kumar the wrong way to give Aizawl a 17th-minute lead.
Both teams have lots of chances to change the scoreline with Bayi, Chesterpaul Lyngdoh and Ansumanah Kromah having gilt-edged one-on-one chances to spurn them all.
Kromah then made up for it after converting a penalty and sending Albino Gomes the wrong way when Brandon Fernandes was brought down by Lalramchullova in the box.
Dan Mawia then notched the winner and his third goal of the tournament when he sneaked in behind the Churchill defence and headed it past the onrushing Kumar to give Aizawl the lead and the victory.
With two games up, Aizawl now have six points from two games. With Churchill on one point and Chennai City having no points, they cannot be overtaken by both the teams with only one group stage game left for all teams and hence qualify for the semifinals.
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