Rajasthan United down 9-man Aizawl FC, Punjab FC thrash Kenkre

Kolkata, Mar 8 (Football News) Punjab FC jumped to top-four with their second win from three matches, while debutants Rajasthan United FC secured their maiden victory in the I-League on Tuesday.

At the Naihati Stadium, former I-League champions Aizawl FC showed late urgency and were down to nine players in the second-half injury time as RUFC rode on Aman Thapa's 37th minute strike to open their account with three points after two matches.

At Kalyani, Punjab skipper Gurtej Singh (15th) opened the gate before British forward Kurtis Guthrie struck a double (20th and 42nd), while Robin Singh (72nd) came off the bench to seal a 4-0 rout of the Mumbai debutants.

The win lifted Punjab FC to fourth place with seven points from three matches, while Rajasthan remained on eight place with three points from two outings.

Up against the 2016-17 I-League champions, RUFC began on a positive note and held the possession.

Defender Mauro dos Santos kept threatening the Aizawl defence with long passes to the front line but the Northeast side kept averting the danger.

After missing a flurry of opportunities, Thapa finally broke the resistance, heading in the only goal of the match.

Aizawl started the second half with attacking intent, looking to quickly cover up the deficit.

Mauro Javier was booked for a challenge on Lalremsanga within two minutes of the second half.

The resulting free-kick provided a chance to Aizawl FC, but the intended shot by Shaiza from outside the box went above the post.

Aizawl missed a sitter in the 55th minute when Rajasthan goalkeeper Bhaskar Roy made an error as he spilled the ball after a free-kick from Malsawmtluanga.

But Lalremsanga's half-volley went above the bar.

Thapa had a chance to score a double but his 65th minute strike soared above the bar.

As the clock started ticking down, Aizawl FC started showcasing urgency and things became heated in injury time.

Robert Primus was sent off for dissent and a minute later, R Malsawmtluanga was also sent off for a rash tackle on Anil Chawan.

Punjab FC on the other hand had it easy against Kenkre FC dominating right from the start.

Gurtej drew first blood when he headed Kean Lewis' corner into the goal.

Their second goal came courtesy Travis Major, whose turn of pace on the left flank allowed him to whiz past Khongsit and square the ball for Guthrie, who swiveled inside the box and made no mistake with the finish from close range.

Guthrie completed his brace when he capitalised on a failed clearance to smash home an instinctive half volley into the bottom corner.

Singh topped off the evening for Punjab FC with a towering header to add the fourth and final goal of the evening for his side. 

Also Read : World Cup play-off between Scotland and Ukraine postponed

News Source : PTI


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