Aizawl, Nov 24 (IANS) Former champions Aizawl FC registered a superb first win in the 12th I-League season, that too in front of adoring home fans, overcoming the challenge of East Bengal (EB) 3-2, thanks to a brilliant 83rd minute strike from Mapuia, who had been on the pitch for just seven minutes before that.
In an entertaining physical and see-saw encounter that saw the lead swaying both ways, Ivorian Hero of the Match Zikahi Dodoz put the hosts ahead in the 25th minute, before Jobby Justin equalised in the 63rd minute for the visitors.
Spanish defender Borja Gomez put EB ahead in the 70th minute, but his effort was cancelled out three minutes later by Joe Zoherliana. Finally, Mapuia sealed it with a relishing strike off an even more delicious Dodoz assist to seal the fate of the match.
In the end, it turned out to be a combination of Dodoz’ efforts and a couple of Gift Raikhan’s substitutions which secured the win for Aizawl while for East Bengal, their fate seemed tied to three Lalram Chulova set-pieces, two of which brought them goals while one was disallowed.
The result moves Aizawl up to the eighth spot in the points tally from bottom and EB stay stranded at the fourth position, having bagged six points from two wins in four games.