I-League: Aizawl FC rout Mumbai Kenkre FC to collect full points

Aizawl FC inflicted a heavy 4-0 defeat on Mumbai Kenkre FC in the Hero I-League 2022-23 match at the Rajiv Gandhi Stadium here on Saturday.

A first-half brace by Lalchhanhima Sailo followed by two second-half goals by substitutes David Lalhlansanga and Jeremy Laldinpuia, helped Aizawl FC register a convincing victory.

Aizawl FC had a solid start to the game as they created two goalscoring chances immediately after the kick-off. In the first minute, Lalchhanhima Sailo’s shot hit the post and two minutes later, R Lalthanmawia went close after the ball was set up by K Lalrinfela.

Aizawl, however, didn’t have to wait long to take in the lead. Sailo shot Aizawl into the lead in the 14th minute. In their attempt to build from the back, Kenkre lost the ball in the midfield and Eisuke Mohri passed the ball to Sailo, found the net with a thumping volley leaving no chance for Kenkre’s custodian Tenzin Samdup.

Six minutes later, Lalthanmawia had the ball after Kenkre’s right-back Kynsailang Khongsit failed to clear it. However, Lalthanmawia’s powerful shot was palmed away by Samdup.

As Kenkre stayed rooted in their own area while trying to fend off a series of Aizawl attacks, the People’s Club doubled their lead in the 25th minute. Khawlhring Lalmalsawma made a run through the right before cutting back to find Sailo, who had abundant space in front of him. Sailo took his time before firing a shot to score his second goal of the day.

Two minutes into the second half, the hosts scored the third goal. Substitute David Lalhlansanga pounced on a low cross by Lalthanmawia from the left and beat Samdup with a deft touch.

In the second half, when for the first time in the match, Kenkre looked like having some say over the proceedings, the People’s Club scored the fourth goal in the 68th minute to virtually finish off the contest. Zodingliana Ralte took a free kick in the attacking third, finding Akito Saito inside the box. The Japanese collected the ball flawlessly before firing a shot, but it was saved by Samdup. But then, Samdup could do little when the rebound reached substitute Jeremy Laldinpuia, who tapped with ease.

Even after getting into a four-goal lead, the hosts pressed further and almost scored the fifth goal in the add-on time when captain Lalchhawnkima’s fine header nearly found the target before Samdup stretched out to tip the ball over the bar.

With a third home win, Aizawl FC moved to sixth place on the table with 12 points in eight matches. Mumbai Kenkre are placed 11th with seven points.

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