| Aizawl FC (in red) and Oil India players in action at Nehru Stadium in Guwahati on Thursday. Picture by UB Photos |
Guwahati, Jan. 2: Aizawl Football Club eased past defending champions Oil India Football Club, Duliajan 2-0 at Nehru Stadium here today to enter the semi-finals of the 62nd Bharat Ratna Lokapriya Gopinath Bordoloi Trophy Football Tournament.
Despite having innumerable opportunities to score, Oil India failed to convert any goals, while Aizawl FC utilised their chances by ensuring a goal in the 29th and 83rd minutes.
Aizawl FC, on having received a free kick from a few yards outside the box in the second minute, David Lalrinmuana’s powerful shot saw the ball landing in the safe hands of Oil India custodian Nitesh Murthy.
The Duliajan outfit missed out on an absolute opportunity when Mintu Boro’s fine cross from the right flank saw Birjab Mushahary’s gentle tap going inches wide of the target in the 11th minute.
Oil India again came close to breaking the deadlock in the 20th minute.
Skipper Zaidin Hmar’s free kick from around 20 yards hit the woodwork.
F. Wary, making his way through the left flank, fed Mintu Boro with a fine opportunity but the latter’s header was well saved by the Aizawl FC custodian M.S. Dawngliana.
Failing to make inroads into the Oil India territory, R. Lalnundanga decided to go for the target with a powerful shot from a distance but failed to trouble Nitesh Murthy in the 26th minute.
C. Zothansanga provided the perfect elevation for B. Zoramthara whose fine flick of the head left Nitesh Murthy with no reply in the 29th minute.
Desperately in search of an equaliser, F. Wary’s 41st minute free kick was well placed.
However, Aizawl FC maintained a well-packed defence line to deny him an opportunity.
In the second half, Oil India tried to penetrate the defence but failed.
Malsawmfela from the right side of the box provided Zirsangzela with the perfect elevation.
However, the latter’s header was fisted to safety by the Oil India custodian in the 70th minute.
F. Wary’s cross from the right flank saw substitute C.K. Basumatary heading the ball wide off the target in the 72nd minute.
With every passing minute, Oil India increased their attack.
The Duliajan side failed to convert in the 83rd minute and saw the ball cleared and placed by Aizawl FC’s Nigerian defender Emmanuel Chigozie to Zirsangzela.
Zirsangzela took full advantage of the situation to finally score with ease.
Aizawl FC will meet the winner of the second quarter-final between Green Valley SC and Aryan Club scheduled for tomorrow.