Churchill Brothers met Shillong Lajong at the Tilak Maidan Stadium, with both teams looking to be get the three points, and look to challenge for the top spots. The home team scored the opener, through a fierce shot by Willis Plaza, in the 18th minute, through a Dawda Ceesay cross from the right. Samuel Lalmuanpuia equalised, at the half-hour mark, after his teammate Buam’s shot was blocked by Martins. Churchill scored their second, in the 39th minute, after Plaza passed the ball to Ceesay, who scored a sweet left-footer into the far corner. Three minutes into the second half, however, Shillong equalised once again, after Samuel Kynshi’s strong run into the box helped him to easily slot the ball past Churchill custodian Baskaran into the goal. Plaza reclaimed the lead and also stretched it, thereby completing his hattrick, through a header off Israil Gurung’s cross in the 51st minute and a brilliant solo effort in the 54th minute, respectively.
The bottom placed Aizawl faced the table toppers Chennai City FC at the former’s home ground Rajiv Gandhi Stadium. After a mostly monotonous and dull first half, the away team took the lead after their star striker, Sandro, hit an exquisite free-kick into the left corner, leaving the home supporters stunned. Aizawl, however, equalised in the 72nd minute, after Dodoz’s shot off Vanlalruatfela’s cross which was kept off the goal by Chennai goalie Thoufiq, fell to Kromah who slotted the rebound into the net. Sandro, however, scored what was to be the winner for Chennai, in the 77th minute, when he intelligently directed a razor-sharp cross by Jesuraj into the net. The win helped Chennai strengthen their lead at the top of the table, while it left Gift Raikhan with a huge task in hand to get the 2016-17 champions back to winning ways.
Gokulam played hosts to the defending champions Minerva. In an otherwise wishy-washy match, characterised by some lacklustre build-up play and finishing, Gokulam scored the only goal of the match, in the hour-mark, through Rajesh, who headed Gani Ahmed’s cross into the net. The win took Gokulam to the second spot of the I-League table.
Real Kashmir, looking to win their first match at home of their debut season met the Kolkata giants Mohun Bagan, who look to have recuperated from a shaky start to their campaign. However, the home team were left to rue their inability to convert their high possession stats into something meaningful, as Mohun Bagan, a bit against the run of play, scored the winner in the 69th minute, after Dipanda Dicka scored an easy header off a Henry Kisseka cross from the right. The win took the Mariners to third, one spot above their arch-rivals East Bengal. Real Kashmir, who had started their debut campaign strongly, got a bit of a reality check, and would need to regroup before their next match against the Arrows.