Shillong Lajong pulled off a fine 2-1 victory over defending champions Aizawl FC here today, firming up their mid-table position in the I-League standings. Meanwhile, Lajong could breathe easy after the encounter at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium. Aizawl inched closer to relegation.
Abdoulaye Koffi powered the hosts into lead with his strike in the 58th minute and Saihou Jagne made it 2-0 in the 73rd minute. Leonce Dodoz Zikahi pulled one back late into the game (90+6) for Aizawl who, like the home side, also entered the game hoping to avoid the drop zone.
After a goal-less first half, Koffi broke the deadlock when he headed in expertly a off a Jagne assist. Shillong Lajong consolidated their position when Jagne, after a one-on-one opportunity, put Albert’s through ball into the back of the Aizawl net.
The visiting side earned a consolation goal when Zikahi struck in the last injury time.
In the dying moments of the match, Lalthathanga came close to spoiling the home team’s party when he released a shot from inside the box, following a layoff from Leonce Dodoz, but Nidhin Lal did well to parry it away.
Both sides were configured in 4-2-3-1 formation. Aizawl were beaten 0-1 in the first fixture at home, courtesy a Redeem Tlang strike. The victory took Shillong Lajong’s total to 21 points from 17 matches.
In the season’s final Northeast derby, both sides opted for two changes each as Novin Gurung and Kynsailang Khongsit replaced Alen Deory and Abdoulaye Koffi for the hosts. Lalchhawnkima and Hmingthan Mawia came in for Lalrosanga and Masih Saighani in Aizawls defense.
(With inputs from AFP)