Mizoram Police FC has taken a huge step towards the semifinals at the end of Round 12 of the Mizoram Premier League. Chhinga Veng FC booked their berth in the semifinals, Aizawl FC is in the brink of sealing their spot.
Three clubs – Chanmari FC, Chawnpui FC, and Electric Veng FC – eye the fourth semifinal spot. Ramhlun North FC and Bethlehem Vengthlang FC are battling relegation.
Aizawl FC on the brink of last four
Electric Veng got the better of Aizawl FC in the season opener. The newcomers picked up 13 points in the opening five fixtures, since then they have only picked up four points.
Meanwhile, the two-time champions have had to balance their fixtures between the I-League and the Mizoram Premier League. This fixture was scheduled 24 hours after their encounter against NEROCA FC in the I-League.
It was a difficult fixture on paper for Aizawl, but the I-League team displayed their strength in depth to register a 2-0 victory.
It wasn’t smooth sailing from the start as Electric Veng FC had the better exchanges at the start with Vanlalremsanga drawing a save from Aizawl FC goalkeeper Awmpuia.
After a goalless first half, Aizawl FC struck in the 56th minute, when K. Lalhmangaihkima’s shot from outside the box to beat Electric Veng custodian Nunga Hnamte. Aizawl’s substitute, Jonathan Lalrawngbawla, nearly doubled a few minutes later when he was presented with a one-on-one opportunity. However, Hnamte was up to the task to thwart him in
Aizawl continued to control possession and tempo of the game as they looked to see out their lead. Electric Veng FC did have a couple of chances to restore parity, however, Vanlalremsanga and R. Lalthanmawia could not pose real threats on goal. After F. Lalremsanga’s 87th minute strike, the 3 points were in the bag.
The victory puts Aizawl FC on 22 points on second place, while Electric Veng FC is hanging on to fourth place with 17 points.
Game of two halves between Ramhlun North and Chanmari
Two-time champions Chanmari FC produced a strong second-half display to gain a point against Ramhlun North FC at Lammual.
Chanmari FC was vying for a place in the playoff spots, while Ramhlun were battling relegation in 7th place.
In the 24th minute, Ramhlun North FC broke the deadlock through Lalnunmawia off a corner by Laldingngheta.
Stung by the goal, Chanmari FC almost hit back immediately when Vanlalbiaa Chhangte had a one-on-one opportunity against RNFC custodian Eddie Zorawmmawia. The forward failed to take his chances.
Chanmari’s problems were compounded further when Jessy Vanlalmuana struck in the 43rd minute. Laldingngheta the corner delivery again.
At the halftime break, Ramhlun North FC was on top.
The second half was a whole different affair with the introduction of Lalnunzama for Chanmari FC. The substitute had an immediate impact in the game. In the 57th minute, his ball in was finished by Laldampuia to cut their deficit. Lalnunzama scored the equalizer in the 71st minute, finishing off a cross from Vanlalbiaa.
Chanmari had the opportunity to complete the turnaround late in the game. Zama with the chance, but the brilliance of Eddie Zorammawia earned a point for Ramhlun North.
Chanmari FC is on fifth place with 15 points, while Ramhlun North FC is in the relegation playoff spot with 10 points.
Chhinga Veng FC seal semi-final spot
Defending champions Chhinga Veng FC managed to shake off a rare loss to get back to winning ways with a commanding 3-1 victory over Chawnpui FC.
Having failed to register a win in their last two matches, the league leaders ran riot in the second half to gain all three points.
A cagey first half provided limited chances for both teams as the majority of the match was relegated to a midfield. The highlight was Chawnpui’s Lalruatfela and Chhinga Veng’s Vanlalzuidika received their marching orders after a scuffle between the two teams.
In the second half, Chhinga Veng FC took the lead in the 51st minute when Jacob Lalrawngbawla scored from a beautiful freekick.
Lalromawia came close to doubling their lead only for Malsawma to block his effort. Chawnpui’s Jerry F. Zonunsanga forced Chhinga Veng goalie, T. Zothanmawia, into a save at the other end.
In the 79th minute, Chawnpui FC equalized through Lalhlimpuia, who headed in Vanlalthanga’s freekick.
In the 85th minute, K. Lalthlahlova headed in for Chhinga Veng to restore the lead. Getch Arthur Diomande then scored his first goal for the club in stoppage time to seal the victory for Chhinga Veng FC.
The victory sealed the semifinal spot for Chhinga Veng with three matches in hand. Meanwhile, Chwanpui are on sixth place with 14 points.
Police brutality as Bethlehem Vengthlang FC receive a thrashing
Mizoram Police FC’s march to the towards the semi-finals took another step forward when they beat Bethlehem Vengthlang FC 4-0 in the Mizoram Premier League.
The Policemen controlled the match right from the start when Lalfakzuala put his team ahead in the 11th minute.
In the 34th minute, the Police team added another when Lalbiakhlua’s cross was finished by Lalruatpuia.
V. Laltanpuia almost scored their third right before halftime, but Bethlehem Vengthlang FC goalkeeper Lalhmaa stood strong to deny the midfielder.
In the second half, Lalfakzuala scoring his second of the match in the 52nd minute. V. Laltanpuia provided a defense-splitting pass to enable the Policeman to beat the defenders.
Lalbiakhlua added a fourth in the 65th minute with Lalfakzuala providing the assist to complete the rout.
Mizoram Police have leapfrogged Electric Veng to third place with 18 points, while Bethlehem Vengthlang FC look increasingly the favorites to get relegated.
Semifinal spots up for grabs
With two matches remaining in the league phase, Round 13 will feature a fight for the playoff spots.
Ramhlun North FC will hope that Chhinga Veng FC would rest their first team players to gain a point or more to stay up for the relegation playoffs. Meanwhile, Aizawl FC and Mizoram Police will vie for the second spot.
Chanmari FC will look to gather 3 points in their encounter with Bethlehem Vengthlang FC to increase their chances of reaching the semifinals. Similarly, Electric Veng FC and Chawnpui will fight it out to stay in the fight for the semifinals.
The Mizoram Football Association also released the dates of the final rounds of the Mizoram Premier League. The finals will take be held on December 7th. The first round of the two-legged semi-finals will be held on Nov. 22 and 23, while the second round is scheduled for Nov. 28 and 29.