Aizawl FC on Friday ended their I-League campaign with a 3-1 win over Gokulam FC. Santosh Kashyap’s boys were trailing by 1-0 in the first half.
Aizawl’s best two stadia were packed on Friday. At Assam Rifles ground Mizo’s most colourful festival Chapchar Kut was in full swing with gaiety, and at Rajiv Gandhi stadium Aizawl FC fans were cheering their team. At the end of the day it was all cheers and festive moods in both the stadia. Chapchar Kut came to an end and Aizawl FC ended their I-League campaign with a 3-1 victory against Gokulam FC.
Aizawl FC will play the much anticipated super cup, a tournament which will feature teams from I-League and Indian Super League.
Aizawl FC conceded in the 24th minute when Mahmood Al Ajmi scored for the visitors from a penalty kick.
Aizawl pounced back in the second half with Leonce Dodoz scoring a brace (60th, 74th minute) while Lalkhawpuimawia (78th) added another to seal the result.
Aizawl FC head coach Santosh Kashyap, going into the match, opted to deploy Ivorian Leonce Dodoz up front while Alfred Jaryan was marshalling the midfield. Masih Saighani and Lalchhawnkima were handed defensive responsibilities.
The visiting team manager, Bino George, started with the dangerous duo of Salman K and Henry Kisekka up front. Emmanuel Chigozie and Daniel Addo continued to guard the defence.
The home team started the game well, earning corners at the beginning. Dodoz troubled the Gokulam goalkeeper Bilal and pressure was on for the visitors. Despite Aizawl’s aggressive game plan, Gokulam took the lead in the 24th minute when Kisseka’s shot was handled inside the box by Kimkima, forcing the referee to award a penalty. Bahraini midfielder Mahmood Al Ajmi made no mistake to send the ball to the net.
Desperate Aizawl tried to scale a comeback, Gokulam Kerala stood firm and had further chances to take the lead. But the scores remained 1-0 in favour of the visitors at the break.
Regardless of the visitors attempt to hold back the home team, fortune favours the bold Aizawl FC’s attacking game. Aizawl got the equalizer at the 60th minute. Albert Zohmingmawia’s shot was spilled by Bilal and Jaryan latched on to the loose ball and found Dodoz who made no mistake in netting it home.
Charged up with the festival mood, Aizawl FC fans cheered their team with traditional songs and dances, the combo of the festive mood of the fans and the aggressive game of Aizawl FC were too threatening for the visitors. In the 74th minute, Dodoz beat a shaky Bilal from a powerful shot from a tight angle.
The 78th minute poor punch of the Gokulam goalkeeper Bilal from Masih Saighani header fell to Aizawl FC’s latest signing Lalkhawpuimawia who volleyed into the net to seal the result and completed the comeback.
The result takes Aizawl to fifth spot on the table, which is where they will finish unless Shillong Lajong wins their final game