Aizawl FC 1 (12’ Richard Kassaga)
Indian Arrows 1 (90+2' Sajad Hussain)
AIFF Media Team
KALYANI: All India Football Federation’s developmental side, the Indian Arrows held Aizawl FC to a 1-1 draw at the Kalyani Municipal Stadium in Kalyani, West Bengal on Sunday, January 24, 2021. Richard Kasagga’s 12th-minute strike from close range was cancelled in added time of the second half by virtue of a thumping Sajad Hussain header as both teams shared the spoils.
In what seemed to be one-way traffic for much of the game, Aizawl FC wasted little time to get their attacking moves underway. In the 6th minute, Ramhlunchhunga’s venomous shot from inside the box took a heavy deflection as it went out for a corner-kick. The quick one-two passing build-up of Aizawl FC proved hefty to deal with for the young Arrows defenders, and the constant badgering took its toll eventually.
In the 12th minute, Richard Kasagga was offered a tap-in to put Aizawl FC ahead, and the Ugandan International bundled his opportunity home after a corner kick saw a thumping header come off the woodwork, into Kasagga’s stride. With the early goal, it seemed the play was restricted into the Arrow’s half as Aizawl FC pressed high and overloaded the ball side.
Indian Arrows tried to hit Aizawl on the break, but the Mizoram side’s defence held firm. The Mizoram based club seemed to be in a hurry to double their lead, and maybe even triple it to put the match beyond the reach of the young Arrows side. Despite dominating possession and chances, Aizawl FC could not find a breakthrough. The half-time scoreline read 1-0 in favour of Aizawl FC.
A spurred Indian Arrows took the game to Aizawl FC in the second half, attacking from the whistle and trying to make their way past the opposition defence. However, after a good spell of attacking play, the momentum swung towards Aizawl’s favour once again. In the 60th minute, Aizawl FC came close to doubling their lead when a curling effort by Rohmingthanga Bawlte from outside the box hit the upright.
The people’s club searched vehemently to put the fixture to rest and committed bodies in the attack in search of the second goal. In the 69th minute, goalscorer Kassaga was once again given an opportunity from a corner kick but this time his thunderous header was met with a save by the Arrows’ custodian Zahid Hussain.
The last chance of the match for Aizawl FC went to Bawlte in the 82nd minute when he was found clear on the left flank. The nippy forward cut inside but was quickly swarmed as his shot hit the Arrows defence line and went away from the goal. However, there was more action to come. The Indian Arrows were given a corner kick in the dying embers of the second half and on what appeared to be the last roll of the dice, the Indian Arrows found the net. Sajad Hussain's thumping header off the corner kick left Aizawl FC stunned as both teams shared points at full-time.