Aizawl FC came from behind to notch up a 3-1 win over Gokulam Kerala in a must-win I-League fixture for the two lower-half teams at Kozhikode on Thursday.
Gokulam Kerala, ranked 10th in the points table, drew first blood through Marcus Joseph in the ninth minute but eighth-placed Aizawl restored parity in the 83rd minute through Paul Ramfanzauva.
The Highlanders struck back in quick succession twice through Mawpuia in the 88th minute and Kromah during the final moments of the added time (90+6) to seal the game in their favour.
Fighting for survival at the tail of the table, the hosts took to the attacks right from the start. Gokulam Kerala pressed hard with Marcus and Suhair VP in combination, and looked threatening from the start.
Gokulam Kerala, who were raiding the Aizawl FC box in regular intervals, couldn’t find a way to convert the chances that came their way. However, Aizawl did try hard to create a few chances through Kromah and Dodoz but couldn’t breach past the Gokulam defence line.
Gokulam Kerala’s attacking game soon yielded results when a scintillating free-kick from Marcus in the ninth minute found its way straight into the goal giving the home team a much deserved lead early into the game.
The second half began with Gokulam Kerala again leading the proceedings. Their attempts to consolidate their lead couldn’t actualize thanks to an alert Aizawl Defence.
Aizawl who were trying hard for an equaliser were unlucky on two occasions when they hit the cross bar.
Their efforts finally yielded results through a Shibin Raj blunder. Lalkhawpuimawia deflected the ball to Paul Ramfanzauva, who made no mistake in finding the back of the net.
Aizawl suddenly changed gears after that and went on an attacking spree and took the lead in the 88th minute when a through ball from Kromah was collected by Mawpuia, who put his side in the lead.
The former champions struck again in the final moments of the added time (96th) through Kromah’s shot.