Kolkata, Mar 11 (PTI) Lalliansanga's 46th-minute strike helped Aizawl FC climb out of the relegation zone by pipping NEROCA FC 1-0 in an I-League match here on Thursday.
With the victory, Yan Law's side has now accumulated 18 points from 11 games, and become the first team from Group B to confirm its security from relegation at the end of the season.
The first chance of the game fell to Aizawl in the seventh minute as Bishorjit Singh was forced to be quick off his line to clear the danger from a free-kick.
On the other end, NEROCA threatened the Aizawl goal in the ninth minute when Jude Garcia met Subash Singam's cutback and forced a save from Lalmuansanga.
Aizawl took the lead in the 46th minute, just seconds after the restart when Lalliansanga met Brandon's early cross and sent his well-placed header past a stranded Bishorjit Singh in the NEROCA goal.
With a goal lead, Aizawl looked comfortable in ball possession and kept knocking the NEROCA defence in search of a second goal.
Ramhlunchhunga's cross found Lalremsanga at the end of a well-built Aizawl move, but the striker's header lacked both power and direction as it was easily saved by Bishorjit in the 55th minute.
Aizawl were inches away from the second goal in the 62nd minute when Brandon burst into the area and struck his shot against the framework.
NEROCA spurred a good opportunity to level the scores in the 74th minute as Varun Thokchom squared the ball to Judah Garcia, but his strike did not have the power to beat Lalmuansanga.
Songpu Singsit pounced on a loose punch from the Aizawl keeper but failed to hit the target from just inside the area in the 82nd minute.
NEROCA kept attacking, searching for just one good opportunity, but the former I-League champions went on to run the clock down and secure the victory in their first game of Phase-II. PTI AP SSC SSC