Aizawl FC were held to a 1-1 stalemate by Sudeva Delhi FC at the Kalyani Municipal Stadium in Kalyani, West Bengal, on Sunday, February 14, 2021, after the Yan Law-coached side had only themselves to blame in a match where they dominated possession, chances and even missed a penalty kick in the second half. Aizawl FC had numerous occasions to score, but faulty finishing let them down as Alfred Jaryan’s second-half strike cancelled out Kean Lewis’ goal in the first half, leading both teams to share points.
Aizawl FC did not waste time in attacking and with their quick tacky style of playing football, went hunting for the early goal. The Yan Law-coached side dominated possession and created chances at will. However, complacency and finishing abilities in front of goal once again took a toll on the Mizoram-based club. As early as the 6th minute, Aizawl FC’s Brandon Vanlalremdika cut inside the box and unleashed a curling shot that earned a good save by the opposition goalkeeper Rakshit Dagar.
With Aizawl FC dominating the tempo of the game, Sudeva Delhi FC relied on counter-attacks and they made the best of their opportunities that came their way. In the 19th minute, much against the run of play, Sudeva Delhi FC opened the goal scoring charts. A long throw from the right flank switched off the Aizawl FC defence and the ball fell kindly to Kean Lewis, who volleyed it the first time to hand Sudeva a solitary goal lead.
Though stunned, Aizawl FC did not hold back and committed even more bodies in attack to find the equaliser. However, that plan almost backfired in the 29th minute when Sudeva Delhi FC were once again given an opportunity to find the net. This time, Naocha Singh missed from hand-shaking distance after he was put straight on to goal by a Naorem Mahesh Singh pass. Had Naocha scored, Sudeva would be leading 2-0 ahead of the half-time break. However, as things stood, the Delhi based side thwarted off multiple lacklustre attacks by Aizawl FC to lead 1-0 at the breather.
After dominating possession in the first half, Aizawl FC seemed spurred, coming out of the tunnel and almost scoring the equaliser in the 51st minute, but poor finishing once again cost them heavy. Ramhlunchhunga robbed the Sudeva defence of possession and sent in a low cross for Lalremsanga inside the box. With ample space and no possible pressure, Sanga fluffed his shot and failed to convert from close range.
Aizawl FC had only themselves to blame for not making the most of their opportunities, despite dominating the match and creating chances at will. Meanwhile, leading by a solitary goal Sudeva Delhi FC sat back and let their opponents have the ball. Sudeva committed bodies in defence and soaked pressure while rarely countering.
It would take a moment of magic to breach the Sudeva Delhi FC defence and in the 75th minute, none other than skipper Alfred Jaryan proved his worth. After a cross by Brandon was cleared by the Sudeva Delhi FC defence, Alfred latched onto a loose ball and produced a venomous shot from outside of the box that left the goalkeeper tumbling, to equalise.
Motivated, Aizawl FC looked to grab the goal that could prove to be the difference between the sides. However, Sudeva Delhi FC had no plans of letting that happen. Aizawl FC were awarded a penalty in the 78th minute after a handball inside the box, but Malsawmtluanga missed his chances with Rakshit Dagar producing a top save.
The Chencho Dorji-coached team heavily defended in the final fifteen minutes of the match and eventually saw out the game as the full-time score read 1-1, with both teams sharing points.