Aizawl, Feb 20 (IANS) Aizawl FC rode on a couple of second half strikes to defeat Mumbai FC 2-0 in an I-League clash at the Rajiv Gandhi Stadium here on Saturday.
Debutant Joel Sunday Ayeni (66th minute) and H. Lalmuankima (68th) found the net in the second half to ensure the full three points for the hosts.
Aizawl have now moved clear of the relegation zone. They are at the seventh spot in the nine-team table with eight points from an equal number of matches.
Mumbai FC remain at the fifth spot with nine points from eight games. This was their second consecutive defeat, having lost 3-2 to Sporting Clube de Goa in their last match.
Aizawl coach Jahar Das made five changes to the side that played in the goalless draw against Shillong Lajong FC in the previous match.
Goalkeeper Soram Anganba was replaced by Zothanmawia. Lalchawnkima, B. Zoramthara, R. Malsawmtluanga and H. Lalbiakthanga replaced Emanuel Chigozie, Yuta Kinowaki, David Lalrinmuana and F. Lalrinpuia.
The Mumbai starting line-up also saw four changes. Clyde Fernandes, Asif Kottayil, Steven Dias and Jayesh Rane were included in the starting XI at the cost of Srikanth Ramu, Min-Chol Son, Arata Izumi and N.P. Pradeep.
The first half saw both the teams getting a couple of chances to go ahead but failed to make the most of the chances to stay goalless in the break.
Coming into the second half, the hosts looked positive right from the start, trying to convert the chances into results.
Fortunes finally turned for the home side as Sunday tapped in Lalmuankima’s cross for an easy goal.
Two minutes later, the i-League debutants doubled the lead as Lalmuankima scored as he converted Zohmingmawia’s cross from the left.
From there on, Mumbai did not get too many scoring chances as some good defending by the home side defenders saw them cruise to a comfortable victory over the visitors.
Aizawl next face Bengaluru FC on February 28, while Mumbai take on Sporting Clube de Goa on February 27.