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Shillong, Oct 28: Naorem Mahesh Singh did the star turn for hosts Shillong Lajong FC as an electrifying first North East Derby of the I-League season saw the home team overcome former champions Aizawl FC 2-1 here on Sunday.
Mahesh scored two brilliant goals in either half to clinch full three points for his side.
Aizawl's Liberian striker Ansumanah Kromah got one back for the visitors but it was not enough.
The first chance fell to the visitors as early as in the fifth minute, when Kromah intercepted a defensive blooper deep inside the Lajong half, but failed to capitalise on it.
Mahesh, who had an excellent first half, turned the game on its head with a sensational strike in the 20th minute that elated the home fans.
Another long ranger by Mahesh in the 27th minute was collected comfortably by Gurpreet even though Aizawl was beginning to gain more control over the game. The hosts went into the break with their lead secure.
In the 51st minute, after a wonderful interchange of passes inside the Aizawl half, Lajong defender Rakesh Pradhan received a ball on the overlap on the left flank. His wonderful cross derailed the Aizawl defence.
Mahesh met the ball with perfect timing to lob it over Gurpreet in the Aizawl goal to double the lead.
Aizawl finally got one back when Kromah struck in the 72nd minute.
Hero of the match Mahesh got a deserving break in the 82nd minute after being replaced by Sheen Sohktung.