Electric Veng FC keeps its semifinal hopes alive with a 3-1 win over Chhinga Veng FC in Round 13 of the Mizoram Premier League. Aizawl FC and Mizoram Police FC are secure in the first and second spots, respectively.
At the bottom of the table, Chawnpui FC beat FC Venghnuai in a bid to avoid the drop. Ramhlun North FC appears to be destined to be heading to the First Division.
Aizawl dents Chanmari’s semifinal hopes
FULL TIME: Chanmari FC 2 – 2 Aizawl FC
Chanmari FC: (Lalremruata 59’, David Lalrinmuana 66’); Aizawl FC: (F Lalremsanga 1’, 86’)
A late goal by Lalremsanga dented Chanmari FC’s chances of making it to the semifinal playoffs of the Mizoram Premier League.
At the start of the round, Chanmari was locked on 16 points with Electric Veng FC in the quest of the fourth playoff spot.
Aizawl FC, on the other hand, was certain of the top spot in the league. Having rested most of their starters, the I-League team showed their strength in depth with a goal in the very first minute.
William Lalnunfela fed Lalremsanga who promptly slotted it past Chanmari goalie, Zothanmawia, with ease.
Despite the early shock, Chanmari grew into the match and were rewarded in the second half. A freekick by David Lalrinmuana was turned in by Lalremruata just before the hour mark. 1-1.
In the 66th minute, Chanmari went ahead. A well-taken free-kick by David Lalrinmuana gave Aizawl goalie, Lalawmpuia, with little time to react.
The three points were heading Chanmari’s way, until the 86th minute, when Aizawl FC was awarded with a penalty.
Lalremsanga converted with ease and the 2-2 scoreline put Chanmari’s semifinal hopes in a precarious position.
Earlier in the week, Aizawl FC beat Chhinga Veng 1-0 to secure the top spot in the league. The fixture was rescheduled owing to Aizawl FC’s I-League clash with Mohun Bagan on November 30.
Alfred Jaryan shrugged off two defenders in the Chhinga Veng area to blast into the top corner on the 69th minute and give his team three points.
Aizawl FC finished the league stage on 31 points and will await the results of the final round to find out about their opponents in the semifinals.
Chanmari will play their final league match against relegation candidates, Ramhlun North FC. They will need to win the match and hope the other results go their way.
Lalrammawia on the double for Electric Veng
FULL TIME: Electric Veng FC 3 – 1 Chhinga Veng FC
Electric Veng FC: (Lalrammawia 7′, 69’, Ramhlunchhunga 60’); Chhinga Veng FC: (MC Malswamzuala 29)
Electric Veng FC has put itself in a strong position for the semifinal playoffs of the Mizoram Premier League.
A 3-1 win over Chhinga Veng has left the team with a chance of finishing in the third spot and avoiding a semifinal clash with the league leaders, Aizawl FC.
Lalrammawia opened the scoring in the 7th minute, courtesy a pass from defender Lalmalsawma.
Chhinga Veng responded through their top scorer, MC Malswamzuala. An assist from Thasiama put the striker through on goal in the 22nd minute.
At halftime, the 1-1 scoreline suited Chhinga Veng.
Electric Veng responded with two goals in a span of 10 minutes to put the match beyond the reach of their opponents.
Ramhlunchhunga scored in the 60th minute, while Lalrammawia scored his second goal in the 69th minute.
Having played all 14 matches, Chhinga Veng is on 21 points. However, they will have to wait for the results of the final round of matches.
Electric Veng is on 19 points and has an opportunity to go third should they beat their next opponents, FC Venghnuai.
Mizoram Police secure second spot
FULL TIME: Mizoram Police FC 2 – 1 Ramhlun North FC
Mizoram Police FC: (Malsawmfela 10’, Lalfakzuala 11’); Ramhlun North FC: (PC Lalratpuia 14’)
A crazy opening 15 minutes saw three goals when Mizoram Police FC faced Ramhlun North FC.
The Police team went ahead in the 10th minute. Malsawmfela’s shot on goal, after some good play by winger Lalbiakhlua Biaktea, opened the scoring.
Lalfakzuala made it 2-0 the very next minute, much to the dismay of the bottom-placed team,
Much to their credit, Ramhlun North FC hit back immediately through PC Lalratpuia. The midfielder scoring in the 14th minute.
The Police team took control of the match thereafter. Laldawngliana and substitute, Lalrinpuia, failed to make the best of their chances.
In the end, the goals early on in the match were enough for the three points for Mizoram Police.
At 25 points, the Police team is assured of a second-place finish. Their next match against Chawnpui, who are virtually safe from relegation might just be seen as a formality for both sides.
On the other hand, Ramhlun North will hope to pick up at least three points to avoid direct relegation. Last season they survived the drop after a playoff.
They may not be as lucky this time.
Chawnpui live to fight another day
FULL TIME: FC Venghnuai 2 – 3 Chawnpui FC
FC Venghnuai: (Laldampuia 21’, Vanlalthanga 57); Chawnpui FC: (Vanlalthlamuana 15’, 20’, T Lalnunpuia 83’)
In a clash between relegation candidates, T Lalnunpuia might have just kept Chawnpui FC in the Mizo top division for another season.
With seven minutes to go, the match locked at 2-2.
A draw would take FC Venghnuai to 12 points and safe from relegation. For Chwanpui, the draw would mean an uphill task to avoid relegation or the relegation playoffs.
Coming off the bench, the Lalnunpuia took his chance well to slot the ball past FC Venghnuai goalkeeper and put Chawnpui ahead in the 83rd minute.
The points table looked different now: Chawnpui 11, Venghnuai 11. The former were ahead on goal difference.
Arguably, Chawnpui deserved the win. They went 2-0 ahead within 20 minutes, courtesy a brace from Vanlalthlamuana.
The deficit was cut in half in the 21st minute. Laldampuia pulling one back for Venghnuai.
12 minutes into the second half the scores were level. Venghnuai forward, Vanlalthanga, hit the back of the net with a beauty.
The match was heading towards a draw before the substitute changed the course of the match – and perhaps the season. Lalnunpuia capitalized on a goalkeeping error to help his team overtake their opponents in the points table courtesy of a superior head-to-head record.
Chawnpui has the upper hand in the final round. Their opponents Mizoram Police has nothing to play for. As for Venghnuai, they face an Electric Veng team who are determined to keep their semifinal hopes intact.
First playoff match end goalless
FULL TIME: Kanan FC 0 – 0 Bethlehem FC
The playoff match between Mizoram First Division teams, Kanan FC and FC Bethlehem, ended in a 0-0 draw. The second leg will take place on November 28.
FC Bethlehem was relegated from the Mizoram Premier League at the end of the 2018 season. Their opponents, Kanan FC, lost out to Ramhlun FC in the playoffs in the bid to qualify for the 2019 season