Hindustan Times (Delhi)
Bagan draw vs Aizawl, fans go berserk
AIZAWL: Mohun Bagan came away with a point at the Rajiv Gandhi Stadium in Aizawl for the first time on Thursday. The game that was dominated by Aizawl FC from start to finish ended 1-1 and saw the crowd toss chairs and bottles on to the pitch to contest refereeing decisions.
Aizawl FC owner, Roberto Royte rushed to confront the crowd with a microphone to calm them, even as the referees took shelter in the officials’ dugout to avoid being struck by the flying objects.
All significant action on the field though, took place in the final 20 minutes. Substitute Lalthathanga Khawlhring (Puitea) had put the home side ahead in the 73rd minute before Bagan substitute Manandeep Singh restored parity from the penalty spot just five minutes later.
Aizawl skipper Alfred Jaryan, who had been brilliant in the middle — sweeping up and keeping his side in control throughout, was sent off one minute before the 90-minute mark. Jaryan was shown a straight red by Senthil Nathan for stomping on defender Rana Ghamari and will miss Aizawl’s upcoming games against Chennai City and Churchill Brothers Aizawl’s Japanese forward Yugo Kobayashi was booked for a challenge on former Aizawl defender Eze Kingsley in the first minute. But the home side recovered quickly to take control of the game.
Jaryan chased down every ball in the middle as the Man of the Match — Leonce Dodoz tormented Bagan’s backline. Dodoz made a menacing run into Bagan’s box in the 10th minute but Shilton Paul easily picked up his tame effort.
Aizawl continued to press, with a strong command over possession as Dodoz bullied himself into the opponents box once again but his shot was well blocked by Shilton this time. Bagan’s best chance in the first half came from a free-kick just outside the box but was driven right into the hands of Avinash Paul.