Debutants Tiddim Road Athletic Union FC moved to third place on the I-League points table following a thrilling 2-1 win at home over former champions Aizawl FC in Imphal on Saturday.
Premjit Singh and Krishnananda Singh scored for the hosts on either side of half time at the Khuman Lampak Stadium, in response to Rochharzela’s 22nd-minute strike to hand the city-based side three points.
Both coaches made two changes each from the teams that started their respective previous games.
TRAU’s Cypriot gaffer Dimitris Dimitriou was forced to miss Phalguni Singh due to injury and played Premjit in place for good enough rewards later. However, his other change, Abhishek Das for Tomnoy Ghosh at right-back, gave him a little heartburn.
Stanley Rozario, the visitor’s coach played newly signed Argentine midfielder Matias Veron in place of Isak in midfield and Rochharzela replaced William Lalnunfela upfront.
It was a free-flowing encounter right from the starting whistle with both teams creating enough chances to score the opening goal.
The visitors struck first when in the 22nd minute, a long cross-field ball from just inside the TRAU half by Ramhlunchhunga, found Rochharzela. The Aizawl midfielder calmly placed the ball away from Mithun Samanta in the TRAU goal and into the back of the net.
The home side hit back five minutes later through the talented winger Premjit Singh.
Krishnanda, in one of his many breaks down the left-flank, cut in and floated a ball across and outside the box, onto the path of Patrick Uche.
The Nigerian’s mistimed shot found its way to an unmarked Premjit inside the box who made no mistake with two defenders converging and with just the keeper to beat.
The second half maintained the momentum of the first and after another set of missed chances by both sides, TRAU found the winner in the 66th thanks to another assist by Uche, this time properly intended and perfectly executed by the Nigerian.
He spotted Krishnananda’s run from well inside his own half and delivered an inch-perfect aerial ball.
Krishna met the ball before it could bounce in front of him and unleashed a left-footed volley which beat keeper Lalramhmunmawia at the near post. The keeper could have done better, but it was a snap-shot and dipping at the keeper in the end.
This was TRAU’s fourth win on the trot and sixth game unbeaten after their loss to East Bengal over a month ago.
Former champions Aizawl continue a tough season, registering their second loss in eight games and with five draws and just one win to show, remain ninth out of 11 teams.