Real Kashmir FC and Sreenidi Deccan FC ended their I-League 2023-24 match in a goalless draw. Meanwhile, in a rain-soaked game, Lalrinzuala Lalbiaknia and Joe Zoherliana each scored twice, leading Aizawl FC to a dominant 5-1 victory against TRAU FC.
Sreenidi Deccan shares spoils with Real Kashmir
Real Kashmir FC and Sreenidi Deccan FC played out a goalless draw in the I-League 2023-24 at the TRC Turf Ground in Srinagar on Thursday, December 7, 2023.
This is the second goalless result on the trot for Real Kashmir, having drawn with Aizawl FC on Saturday. While head coach Ishfaq Ahmed will be delighted to see his side keep their sixth clean sheet in eight matches, goalscoring remains a concern as they failed to score at home once again.
It’s a result which doesn’t really help either side. Sreenidi Deccan will see this as two more points dropped after going down 1-2 to Mohammedan Sporting in a crucial clash on Sunday. One of the title contenders, two matches without a win has seen the Deccan Warriors fall behind in the race.
Courtesy of this result, the Snow Leopards remain in 4th place on the points table with 14 points from eight matches. Sreenidi Deccan also stay second, two points behind leaders Mohammedan Sporting. Importantly, the Black and White Brigade have two games in hand.
Next up for Real Kashmir is a test against Gokulam Kerala FC on December 11 at home. Sreenidi Deccan, meanwhile, will host Delhi FC on the same day in Hyderabad.
Aizawl FC rain goals on hosts TRAU FC
Under blinding rain, Lalrinzuala Lalbiaknia and Joe Zoherliana scored a brace each to help Aizawl FC blow away TRAU FC 5-1 in an I-League match at the Kalyani Stadium in West Bengal on Thursday, December 7, 2023. TRAU’s Gerard Williams scored an own goal, while Robinson Singh Soraisam had opened the scoring for the Imphal-based side.
The emphatic victory took Aizawl to the fifth spot in the points table. After eight matches, they have 14 points, including four wins, two draws and losses each. TRAU, on the other hand, are still in search of their first win and are languishing at the bottom spot in the standings. Out of eight matches, they have lost seven and drawn once.
Lalrinzuala Lalbiaknia has been the star of Aizawl’s I-League campaign this season and he shone against TRAU as well. With his twin strikes on Thursday, his goal tally now reads eight. The Aizawl striker is the second-highest scorer in the league behind Gokulam Kerala’s Alex Sanchez, who has nine goals to his name.
It was TRAU, though, who had taken the lead at the Kalyani Stadium in the 13th minute. Deepak Singh floated in a cross from the right and Robinson timed his jump to perfection to head home.
But Aizawl came roaring back into the game and how! They earned a penalty in the 15th minute when Moirangthem Malemnganba’s sliding tackle took down Zoherliana inside the box. The referee Tanmoy immediately pointed to the spot and Lalrinzuala calmly converted the chance to help Aizawl draw level.
Aizawl turned things around and took the lead seven minutes later. It was Zoherliana again who set up the goal. The full back made a darting run on the right, skipping a TRAU defender skilfully, before sending in a low cross. TRAU goalkeeper Nora Fernandes came off his line to collect the ball but Lalrinzuala beat him to it. The forward used a deft touch to slot the ball past the goalkeeper to score his second.
Aizawl FC were gifted their third goal by TRAU defence. Despite the heavy outfield due to incessant rains, Aizawl were moving the ball nicely. It was one such movement that helped them extend their lead. Lalrinzuala tried to lay it for Lalbiakdika at the edge of the TRAU penalty box but Williams attempted to intervene. In the process of intercepting the pass, the TRAU defender turned the ball into his own net.
Aizawl scored their fourth goal from another set piece. R Ramdinthara swirled in a corner from the right and the ball landed at the feet of Zoherliana, who showed immense composure to find the back of the net.
Aizawl piled on TRAU misery further when Zoherliana added his second and his side’s fifth in the 57th minute. Aizawl played quite a few passes to build the attack before Lalbiakdika passed the final ball to Zoherliana, who made a swift turn and slotted the ball home to seal the match.