Marcus Joseph brace puts Mohammedan Sporting on top of I-League table

Mohammedan SC defeated Aizwal FC 2-0 in the ninth match of the 2021-22 I-League at the Kalyani Stadium here on Thursday.

The I-League resumed after two months in great fashion for Mohammedan as they climbed to the top of the table with six points from two games.

The 2016-2017 champions, Aizawl FC’s rocky start to the season continued in the second round of fixtures. Real Kashmir defeated the Mizoram-based side by three goals to two in their first game of the season, while Mohammedan SC had kicked off their I-League 2021-22 campaign with a 2-1 victory over Sudeva FC. Aizawl FC were trying to get their first points on board with this game but, Mohammedan, the Calcutta Football League 2021 Champions, had other plans.

The Black and White Brigade asserted their dominance from the get-go with some early possession and quick passing in the middle of the park, while Aizwal looked cautious from the beginning. In the nineteenth minute of the game, Mohammedan squandered a chance to score as Brandon Vanlalremidka missed a clear opportunity from a long pass sent by captain Nikola Stojanovic, which was collected by Aizawl FC goalkeeper Lalmuansanga.

With constant pressure, Aizwal’s resistance finally broke as Mohammedan striker Marcus Leric Jr Joseph gave them the lead in the 26th minute. Marcus placed a brilliant back-heel pass made by Andelo Rudovic into the back of the net. Marcus quickly doubled Mohammedan’s lead in the 35th minute as some sloppy defending by Aizawl gave an easy chance for the Trinidad and Tobago striker.

Mohammedan’s aggressive style of play cost them a yellow card in the 43rd minute as defender Lalramchullova fouled Nikhil Mali, while trying to win the ball.

The first half story was one-way traffic as Mohammedan overwhelmed Aizwal with constant attacking threat, giving them a commanding 2-0 going into half-time.

The Black and White Brigade yet again started the second half in an aggressive manner and created chance after chance. They maintained high possession and constantly put Aizwal under pressure. The midfield was putting pressure as they looked for a third goal. Lalremsanga had a chance to do just that in the 61st minute, but wasn’t able to land a good kick and missed a clear shot on target.

Aizwal tried a late surge that gave a couple of chances to Willis Plaza. The first one came in the fourth minute of stoppage time as Plaza tried to put it in the net, but it hit the post from close range. He got another chance just a minute later with his left foot, but missed it by a whisker.

Mohammedan are set to play their next game against newcomers Sreenidi Deccan FC on March 7 at the Naihati Stadium, while Aizawl FC will square off against the newly promoted Rajasthan United at the same venue on the following day.

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