Aizawl beat Chennai to lead I-League table

Aizawl, Feb 25 (IANS) Aizawl FC rode on a Brandon Vanlalremdika strike to beat Chennai City FC 1-0 here on Saturday and climb to the top of the I-League table.

Vanlalremdika struck the winner in the 53rd minute after the teams were locked goaless in the first half.

Aizawl FC now lead the table with 23 points from 11 matches. They enjoy a one-point lead over Mohun Bagan and East Bengal who are at the joint second spot. The Kolkata giants however, have played lesser number of matches.

Chennai City FC dropped to the ninth position with eight points from 11 matches.

The hosts enjoyed better possession in the first half. But they were unable to secure the lead despite a flurry of attacking moves thanks to poor finishing by their forwards.

Chennai goalkeeper Karanjit Singh was troubled by the hosts quite a few times. Jayesh Rane’s corner kick was headed towards the goal by Zohmingliana but Karanjit managed to punch it over the bar. Karanjit had also blocked Al Amna’s free kick just minutes after the start.

The second half kicked off to an invigorating start. Aizawl’s R. Laldanmawia received Al Amna’s pass and unleashed a powerful shot, only to be denied by the woodwork.

Aizawl’s domination finally bore fruit when Brandon scored off an assist from the right by Ivorian forward Kamo Stephane Bayi to register his third goal of the campaign.

Alfred Jaryan nearly secured another goal for Aizawl when he delivered a powerful long ranger but Karanjit averted the danger.

“We played really well. Kamo played a great game,” Aizawl coach Khalid Jamil said after the match.

Chennai City FC coach Soundararajan admitted that the high altitude of Aizawl and the artificial turf posed a problem for his players.