Lajong get second consecutive win
Dipanda Dicka's double strike helped Shillong Lajong to a 3-1 win over Mumbai FC in a fifth-round match of the I-League at Shillong's Nehru Stadium on Saturday.
The win was Lajong's second straight of the season while Mumbai slumped to their third consecutive defeat.
Dicka gave the home side the lead in the 28th minute and followed it up with another goal three minutes before half-time. Chinglensana Singh added a third in the 70th minute to seal the tie for the hosts. Karan Sawhney scored Mumbai's lone goal in the 56th minute.
Mumbai began the match on a positive note, creating several chances in the early minutes. Shillong were left defending for the most part of the first half hour but things began to change thereafter.
A counter-attack by Lajong in the 25th minute saw Samuel Shadap's chip shot 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. Lajong could have had a third goal before the break but Issac hit the top of the crossbar.
Despite the initial pressure exerted by the hosts, Mumbai chipped in a goal against the run of play with super-sub Karan Sawhney converting from close range.
Lajong, however, put their win beyond doubt in the 70th minute when Chinglensana netted the third goal, spinning over to put the ball into the back of the net following a corner kick.
The win took Lajong to fifth spot in the league table, while Mumbai slipped to sixth.
Chennai register maiden win
Debutants Chennai City FC notched up their maiden win in the I-League with a 2-0 victory over Aizawl at Chennai's Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium on Saturday.
Second-half goals from Marcos Tank (53rd minute) and Charles D Souza (90+3) ensured Chennai secured three points at home.
Coach Robin Charles Raja made two changes in the Chennai City lineup with Darrein Caldeira and Abhra Mondal coming in. Aizwal coach Khalid Jamil, meanwhile, opted to go in with the same team that started in the win against Mumbai FC.
The game's start was uneventful, both sides sending across a lot of long balls and forward moves, seemingly trying to build some rhythm without much success.
The first chance of the game went Chennai City's way when Raju's cross into the box fell to Edwin on the edge of the area. The winger, though, completely miscued his attempted volley.
Chennai's Brazilian forward Charles de Souza then missed a sitter in the 30th minute. Marcos Tank did well to maneuver some space for himself down the left and delivered an accurate cross, which only needed a touch by Charles from point-blank range. But the forward tried a scissor kick and miscued the ball.
There were no other clear cut opportunities for both teams and the first half ended scoreless.
The second period started with Chennai City on the ascendancy and the hosts grabbed the lead against the run of play. A ball forward was picked up by Tank, who was at least 25 yards out from goal. But the Brazilian paused and delivered a shot that had pace and dipped into the net over the goalkeeper.
After the goal, Aizawl began attacking more and had chances to equalise. Al Amna's top corner-bound shot was palmed over by Abhra Mondal before Lalruatthara headed a cross onto the cross bar, much to the frustration of coach Jamil.
There was much drama still to come in injury time. First, Chennai City were awarded a penalty after Kingsley brought down Charles, who received the ball inside the box after a fantastic corner. Charles shot the ball down the middle to seal the tie for Chennai City.
But ugly scenes followed as Prasanth was tackled by Kingsley on another counter, which led to the Chennai players taking offence. It sparked a huge melee with almost all players getting involved in it.
Kingsley, Lalruatthara and Amiri picked up bookings for the incident.