Aizawl FC 1 – 0 DSK Shivajians
It was heartbreak in Mizoram for DSK Shivajians as the Dave Rogers coached side went down to Aizawl FC courtesy a last minute winner by Brandon Vanlalremdika in what was a fairly evenly contested match.
The Match started off with both sides playing a cautious brand of football, sizing each other up with the first real attack coming only after seven minutes, where the hosts came close of a Laldanmawia shot. DSK Shivajians however, played the ball down the wings and dominated possession, with last ditch defending saving the home side the blushed on more than one occasion. Probing runs by the Jerry Lalrinzuala on the Left Side and Lallianzuala Chhangte on the right side constantly asked questions of the Aizawl FC defence. At the other end, Aizawl FC tried to question the visiting defence by trying to ping long balls in behind the DSK Shivajians defence. The 6 foot 5 inch Sasha Kolunija was, however, more than up to the task. The teams went in at the break with the score at 0-0.
With the game proving itself to be a midfield battle, Dave Rogers went for a tactical substitution at Half Time with youngsters Mawihmingthanga and Lallianzuala Chhangte making way for Irish midfielder Shane McFaul and Indian International Seityasen Singh. The change seemed to do the trick, adding stability in midfield and pace down the right wing. The first chance of the second half came for young Sairuatkima in the 53rd minute when Juan Quero found him with a cross. The Aizawl defence were, however, quick to close the local lad down relieving the pressure. With Aizawl FC trying to build their attacks down the centre, with Jayesh Rane combining with Kamo Stephane Bayi and Alfred Jaryan, Sairuatkima and Shane had their work cut out, with both players doing an excellent job of containing their opposing trio. With this tactic unsuccessful, Aizawl looked to use William Lalnunfela on the right wing to get in behind the big central defensive pairing of DSK Shivajians in Gouramangi Singh and Shane McFaul, with Jerry also putting in a shift on the left side.
With their attacks cancelled out, come the 70th minute Aizawl found themselves manning all barricades with Seityasen, Milan and Jerry using the wings to feed Kim Song Yong in the box. The best chance of the game for DSK Shivajians came when Seityasen Singh found himself in space 25 yards from goal. His powerful shot was just saved by custodian Albino Gomes. The last few minutes of the game saw the game turn into a ping-pong affair with both sides trying to get the elusive goal until Brandon finally capitalised on a cross on the 89th minute. This spelled heartbreak for DSK Shivajians who were the team on the front foot for much of the second half. While they tried to equalise, the final whistle was quick to come as the match ended 1-0 in favour of the home side.
DSK Shivajians will host Bengaluru FC on Sunday, the 5th of February at the Balewadi Stadium.