The spoils were shared between Aizawl FC and TRAU FC as the I-League returned to the picturesque Rajiv Gandhi Stadium in Aizawl on Tuesday, November 15.
A goal in each half by Sagolsem Bikash Singh and K. Lalrinfela for TRAU and Aizawl FC, respectively, meant that the two sides went home with a point each.
In a fixture where TRAU have dominated in recent years, it was a different story this time. The first half started with Aizawl FC on the front foot, as they played with a high tempo in the opposition half. New Argentine recruit Matias Veron was the focal point of most of their attacks. However, the home side was not able to capitalise on their attacking opportunities.
TRAU began to grow in the game after the quarter hour mark and managed to get the lead on the 18th, when they caught Aizawl FC on the break. With only two defenders manning the back line for Aizawl FC, and onrushing Nana Poku had two options in the form of Bikash Singh and Baoringdao Bodo to pass to. He chose the former who finished from a very tight angle to score for the away side.
Three minutes later Aizawl FC got onto the attack after the restart as Henry Kisekka found Ramdinthara, whose shot was saved on the near post by TRAU’s custodian Bishorjit Singh.
Gerson Vieira had an influential first half for TRAU as he won almost every midfield battle, and his quick progressive passing helped the Red Pythons build multiple counter-attacks. The first half ended with Aizawl FC making multiple moves around the opponent’s box but TRAU’s defence stood firm.
Aizawl FC came flying out of the blocks in the second half, and found the equaliser three minutes after the restart, when TRAU keeper Bishorjit misjudged Lalrinfela’s shot that spun right in front of him and went into the goal.
Veron had a good opportunity for Aizawl FC a little after the hour mark, when he made some space for himself and pulled the trigger from outside the box, but his shot went just wide. However, the Argentine soon received his marching orders, when a bad tackle on Bikash Singh earned him his second booking of the match.
Aizawl FC had a good chance of clinching the match towards the end through a Henry Kisekka shot, but TRAU keeper Bishorjit Singh made an outstanding save inside the six-yard box. The game soon wound down to a close as both sides resorted to a few long range efforts in the closing exchanges, but the scores remained unchanged.