The main draw of the Super Cup 2018 kicked off at the Kalinga Sports Complex in Bhubaneshwar, Orissa as reigning Indian Super League champions Chennaiyin FC took on last season's I-League champions Aizawl FC.
The game began well for Aizawl FC as they controlled the tempo in the midfield with Alfred Jaryan and Ionescu running things for the Mizo side. Ionescu opened the scoring in the 22nd minute of the match with a deflected goal that beat Karanjit Singh. Chennaiyin FC kept on pressuring the Aizawl FC defence exerting their authority with prolonged ball possession and equalized late in the match with a Mailson Alves strike.
The extra time began on a promising note for Aizawl FC as Andrei Ionescu scored his second goal of the match in the first attacking move. However, Chennaiyin never gave up and got on equal terms again when Dhanachandra Singh's low shot from outside the box sneaked past the Aizawl FC keeper to force the match into the penalty shootout.
Aizawl FC triumphed over the ISL champions in the penalty kicks with five successful kicks as Mohd. Rafi missed his kick. Aizawl FC's Lalmuan Kima scored the final penalty with a 'Panenka' to seal their progress to the quarterfinals.
#1 Andrei Ionescu opens the scoring for Aizawl FC
Chennaiyin FC were dealt a major surprise as the I-League side began on the front foot and dominated the initial proceedings on the pitch.
The Indian Super League champions were not given much space or time on the ball as the Mizoram club worked hard in the middle of the park. Alfred Jaryan and Andrei Ionescu controlled the game in the centre with their passing and tracking back in the midfield.
Their persistence paid off finally in the 22nd minute as Ionescu beat the helpless Karanjit Singh in the Chennaiyin goal after a deflection from an outside the box effort. The Romanian midfielder's optimistic shot paid dividends as the Chennaiyin keeper was caught unaware by the deflection off Chennai defender.