Aizawl FC overcome fighting DSK Shivajians 1-0

Pune, 17 April (PTI): Missed chances cost DSK Shivajians, who went down fighting 0-1 to Aizawl FC in the final home game of the Hero I-League 2015-16 at the Shree Shivchhatrapati Sports Complex in Mhalunge-Balewadi on Saturday.

A second-half strike by Joel Sunday in the 61st minute, handed visitors Aizawl FC a win in the Round-17 encounter.

Hosts DSK Shivajians were unlucky as they not only missed a number of chances throughout the game but were also denied a clear penalty in the closing minutes of the second half.

The defeat brought an end to DSK Shivajians' seven-match unbeaten run as they dropped down to seventh place in the standings with 15 points. Meanwhile, Aizawl FC moved up to sixth with 16 points.

Going into the game, coach Derrick Pereira fielded an unchanged line-up from the previous game with Nikhil Kadam and Shrikant Molangiri coming in as substitutes.

The match began with some fast paced action as both sides attacked early on. Hosts DSK Shivajians had the first close chance of the game as skipper Pierrick Dipanda controlled the ball well inside the box only to fire over from 8-yards out.

Thereafter, both sides slowed down a bit as they battled out hard in the midfield. Nonetheless, hosts DSK Shivajians kept on pushing ahead through constant attacks only to lack killer finish in the final third with Douhou Pierre, Surchandra Singh and Pierrick all missing from close range before the first half ended goalless.

The second half saw both teams play an end-to-end game creating several attacks. The best chances, however, fell for the hosts in the opening 10 minutes of the half.

First midfielder Surchandra Singh went close in the 50th minute, as he beat a couple of tackles cutting in from the left before unleashing a flat shot on the rival goal. He was denied by the Aizawl FC goalkeeper Soram Poirei who somehow managed to hold on after fumbling initially.

Baljit Sahni was next to go close two minutes later.

Winger Juan Quero got into the clear down the left after a quick one-two with Douhou Pierre. The Spaniard then cut back a good cross to find Baljit in the box who blasted his effort over from close range.

As the hosts pushed up aggressively, Aizawl FC took the lead against the run of play at the hour mark. Winger Lalmuankima ran clear down the left and floated in a cross which was headed in at the far post by an unmarked Sunday.

Having conceded, DSK Shivajians pushed up even more aggressively and six minutes later, almost pulled level through Pierrick. The skipper managed to connect Haroon Amiri's dangerous cross in from the left after Douhou sent the Afghan defender through on the right. The attempt which was on target was palmed away by Poirei with a brilliant dive to his left.
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