Second string Aizawl holds East Bengal as both sides confirm semi final spot

After Churchill Brothers failed to beat Chennai city, both Aizawl and East Bengal were confirmed for the semi-final with just the top spot at stake

Aizawl, East bengal get Semi final spot

In a drab encounter with semi-final spot confirmed, Khalid Jamil fielded a second string Aizawl side against East Bengal, still managing to take out a point and top the table.

With the complete change in playing eleven, Jojo Lalrawnbangla and William Lalnufela started in attack while Albert Zohmingmawia and H. Lalmuankima provided the creative impetus to Aizawl. At the other end, East Bengal missed Gurwinder Singh and Mehtab Hossein due to suspensions and were replaced by Rowllin Borges and youngster Samad Ali Mullick, while Robin Singh, the two goal scorer hero from the previous game too found himself out of the starting lineup with only Willis Plaza upfront.

In a one sided encounter, east Bengal dominated possession but still failed to break the Aizawl defence wasting too many opportunities. Early in the first half, Willis Plaza was guilty of missing couple of opportunities before Wedson Anselme’s shot from inside the box was deflected away by an alert Lalawmpuia in the Aizawl goalpost. Bikash Jairu was impressive sending in plenty of crosses in to the Aizawl box which the red and gold strikers failed to capitalise on.

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The story in the second half continued to be same with East Bengal dominating possession only for Plaza’s profligacy in the final third and Aizawl FC’s goalkeeper Lalawmpuia saving the day for the champions. Cavin Lobo produced couple of good chances with ball but both were wasted as Plaza failed to connect the first one while Aizawl custodian saved the second.

In the 69th minute, East Bengal had a glorious chance to take the lead when Willies Plaza found himself in a one-on-one situation with Aizawl keeper after a quick one-two with Bikash Jairu, but once again Plaza wasted the chance as game remained goal less. In search of that elusive goal, Ranjan Chaudhari introduced Robin Singh and Lalrindika Ralte but neither managed to have any impact on the game as the match ended in a goalless draw.

With this result, the I league champions remained at the top spot in the group while East Bengal stayed second.

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