Aizawl FC 4 (Lalrinzuala 29′, 87′, Lalthankhuma 73′, 86′)
Churchill Brothers 0
AIFF Media Team

AIZAWL: Watched on by a faithful crowd, Aizawl FC pulled off a miracle second coming of their own with an immaculate performance to beat Churchill Brothers 4-0 on March 28, 2024. It was the Reds’ first win in the I-League since December, which also condemned TRAU FC to relegation for the season. The winners led 1-0 at half-time.

Churchill were the ones looking dangerous in the early exchanges, with their menacing wingers constantly putting crosses that required Nora Fernandes’ full attention in the hosts’ goal. The first real chance came via a Martin Chaves corner after Fernandes had failed to deal with the ball having come off his line. The resultant header from Elhadji Karim Samb flew inches high.

Aizawl hit back with venom and scored the opener in the 29th minute, the goal created via both individual brilliance and dazzling teamwork. Laldanmawia nutmegged Sebastian Thangmuansang on the right of Churchill’s flanks and then sped into the box. His calm and perfect cutback was to Lalrinzuala who opened his body up and curled his shot into the far post. Karim Samb had another opportunity to equalise in the first half but failed to connect with Lamgoulen Semkholun’s cross after it had beaten the entire Aizawl defence.

Lalrinzuala had a chance to double the hosts’ lead in the 57th minute, his glancing header going just wide of the Churchill post. Aizawl were relentless though, and soon Lalramsanga’s long-range drive forced Bilal Khan into a diving save in the Churchill goal.

Aizawl’s vigour found just reward in the 73rd minute, with Lalthankhuma finishing from close range to double their lead. From a corner, Lalramsanga expertly volleyed a pass to his midfield counterpart on the goalmouth, to tap in. Churchill’s abysmal defending had played him onside.

Aizawl’s new found confidence saw them finish the job with ribbons on top, in the final ten minutes when they scored two more. Lalthankhuma got a second with a glancing header off a corner in the 86th minute, before Lalrinzuala also got a brace of his own with a curling finish into the top corner barely a minute later.