Shillong Lajong rode on a double strike from Dipanda Dicka to beat Mumbai FC 3-1 in a fifth I-league round match at the Nehru Stadium in Shillong. Meanwhile, Chennai City FC shocked high-flying Aizawl FC 2-0 at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Chennai.
In Shillong it was Lajong’s second straight win of the season while Mumbai slumped to their third defeat on the trot. Dicka gave the home side the breakthrough in the 28th minute and followed it up with another goal three minutes before the half-time break.
Later, Chinglensana added a third in the 70th minute to seal the tie for the hosts.
For Mumbai, Karan Sawhney scored the lone goal in the 56th minute.
Mumbai started the proceedings on a positive note, creating several chances in the early moments. The home side were left doing the defending job for the most part of the first 30 minutes but things made a paradigm shift thereafter. A counter attack by Lajong in the 25th minute saw Samuel Shadap’s chip shot being somehow tipped over by goalkeeper Laxmikant Kattimani.
Just when Santosh Kashyap’s boys looked like getting back into the tie with a couple of decent raids on the opposition half, Dicka killed the first half contest with his second strike in the 42nd minute.
Following a Mumbai defensive lapse, Dicka was left alone on the left and went past the advancing goalie to convert with ease.
The Mumbaikars had their hearts in their mouth when Issac hit the top of the crossbar in first half stoppage time. The two sides went into the break with the score 2-0 in favour of Lajong.
Crossing over, despite the initial pressure exerted by the home side, Mumbai chipped in a goal against the run of play with super-sub Karan Sawhney converting one from close range.
Hopes of a strong Mumbai comeback was, however, shattered in the 70th minute when Chinglensana netted the third goal for Lajong. Chinglensana spun over to put the ball into the back of the net following a corner kick much to the delight of the 5000-strong home crowd.
Things became worse for the visitors when their custodian Laxmikant Kattimani was shown the red card for handling the ball outside the box.
Ten-man Mumbai could hardly muster any trick further to stage a comeback as Lajong happily grabbed full three points from their second win in as many games.
Following the victory, Lajong catapulted to the fifth spot in the league table while Mumbai slipped to sixth.
First win for Chennai
I-League newbies Chennai City FC made a statement by shocking highflying Aizawl FC with a 2-0 win over in a scintillating encounter at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Chennai. Goals from Marcos Tank (53rd) and Charles D Souza (90+3) ensured valuable three points for Robin Charles’ men at home taking them to four points from five matches. Aizawl FC are third with 10 points from five matches.
Chennai City FC will now face Shillong Lajong away on Tuesday and Khalid Jamil’s side faces DSK Shivajians in a home tie.
Minerva set to host first match
Ludhiana India’s premier football tournament will make a comeback to the city for the first time since the 2010-11 season as debutants Minerva Punjab FC gear up to host mighty East Bengal in the I-League here on Sunday.
Manager Trevor Morgan and Robin Singh attended the pre-match press conference on behalf of the away side while head coach Surinder Singh and Manandeep Singh represented the host.
Surinder said that it was unfortunate that they have lost away points without a win from four games. “We are taking only the positives from our previous games and stepping into tomorrow’s home game and we’re playing to win three points.”
Manandeep Singh said that Minerva Punjab FC are looking to win three points since they are at the bottom of the table and are eager to taste their first victory.